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  • Image: webpage where Hon. Mbabazi, or his assistants, found the material to cut and paste into his New Vision article

    Prime Minister joins ‘Clause 9’ debate with plagiarised article

    Web page where Hon. Mbabazi, or his assistants, found the material to cut and paste into his New Vision article

    Prime Minister Amama Mbabazi has urged MPs to vote in favour of extensive executive power over oil in a lengthy New Vision newspaper article,  most of which is plagiarised from an essay on The Politics of Oil and Water sold online by www.docstoc.com.

    The premier’s main argument, which appears in the closing paragraphs of the 1,600 word New Vision opinion piece, is that the Petroleum Authority, as industry regulator, should not both issue licences for exploration and production and at the same time enforce industry standards. This, he says, “tantamounts to one checking oneself!” Hon. Mbabazi, who is considered a possible successor to President Yoweri Museveni, also complains that “removing the Minister [from licensing decisions] is tantamount to removing the President from control of the oil resource.” Read More

  • Speaker Kadaga demands disciplinary action over oil bill fracas

    The Speaker of Parliament, Hon. Rebecca Kadaga, has said she will not reconvene the House until MPs who allegedly disrupted proceedings on Wednesday, as a vote was about to passed over the controversial Clause 9 of a bill to regulate the petroleum sector, are punished for indiscipline.

    Hon. Kadaga has ordered the parliamentary Committee on Rules, Privileges and Discipline to review the matter and report back to her by Monday so that appropriate disciplinary action is taken against lawmakers considered guilty of fanning the fracas in the debating chamber. Read More

  • MPs revolt against creation of a ‘Super’ oil minister

    “No vote! Our oil!” chanted a section of the House.

    “Let’s Vote!” chorused another.

    The Speaker’s chair vacant, the Sergeant at Arms and his assistants jealously guarded the Mace, the symbol of parliamentary power, as some members of the opposition appeared to be making a move for it.

    This was the dramatic scene that played out in a fully-packed parliament yesterday as Uganda’s law makers clashed over whether to vote on re-introducing Clause 9 of a draft oil bill, giving sweeping powers to the minister in charge of oil. Read More

  • Image: Citizens try to enter parliament

    Bishop, MPs, prise parliament’s doors open to the public

    Police direct citizens to another entrance to parliament, where they must wait to see if they will be allowed to enter. (Photo: NY)

    As MPs gathered in Uganda’s parliament this afternoon to debate a bill that will structure and regulate the oil sector, police on the gates were busily refusing entry to activists who wanted to the watch the debate from the public gallery—until rescue for the citizens’ rights came from the intervention of a prominent cleric.

    Shortly before 2 pm Oil in Uganda  found a despondent huddle of barred activists at the parliamentary gate.  According to Henry Bazira, chairperson of the Civil Society Coalition on Oil and Gas, police had told them the public gallery was “full.” Read More

  • Image: ActionDealyed

    Showdown looms as government moves to reclaim power over oil

    Ugandan NGOs shut down in protest at government corruption on the same day that parliament voted to curtalil ministerial power over oil. But Mr. Museveni has bounced back with deals to keep his parliamentary troops in line. (Photo: NY)

    A controversial clause in Uganda’s Petroleum (Exploration, Development and Production) Bill, which was amended during a parliamentary debate two weeks ago in such a way as to limit ministerial powers, has been re-introduced at the eleventh hour and will again be debated on Tuesday, November 27, after intense efforts by the ruling party to quell potential rebellion in its own ranks.

    A National Resistance Movement caucus meeting held today (November 26) was widely seen as an attempt to railroad Movement MPs into supporting the original version of the bill, while civil society activists held their own press conference and issued statements denouncing the effort to overturn the earlier amendment. Read More

  • Image: Moses Arupei

    Uganda’s first batch of oil trainees cannot find work

    Moses Arupei has plenty of certificates, but no job.

    Thirty Ugandans who recently returned from Trinidad, where they received six months’ practical training to follow up on a two-year vocational course at the Uganda Petroleum Institute Kigumba, now find themselves unemployed and uncertain how to find a foothold in Uganda’s nascent oil industry.

    “At this age you can’t really stay home and depend on people again; it’s really hard,” says thirty year old Moses Arupei, who came back from the Caribbean oil and gas producing island with three globally recognised vocational qualifications, but has not been able to land a job. Read More

  • Image: Open Oil contracts book

    ‘Booksprint’ sets out to throw light on oil contracts

    Written by a global team for a global readership

    A book published this month by the Berlin-based Open Oil consultancy group aims to shine a light on the production sharing contracts—known in Uganda as production sharing agreements (PSAs)—that lie at the heart of the multi-trillion dollar global oil industry.

    “Contract transparency is the next stage of the transparency movement” writes Open Oil founder, Johnny West, in a foreword to the book, which can be downloaded free of charge from the Open Oil website.  Part of Mr. West’s foreword is re-published below. Read More

  • Kenya to hike fees for oil explorers, introduce competitive bidding

    As Kenya prepares to become an East African oil producer, its Energy Minister has said that they plan to increase fees for oil companies operating in the country as more oil and gas is discovered.

    Speaking at the inauguration of the East Africa Oil and Gas Summit in Nairobi on Tuesday, an optimistic Hon. Kiraitu Murungi noted that the government needs to cater for the interests of its people by raking in more revenues from the oil and gas industry to finance the provision of basic services. Read More

  • “We are not competing with Uganda” says Kenyan oil leader

    Summaya Athmani, head of Kenya’s National Oil Company, apeals for regional collaboration on oil infrastructure

    Updated, November 15, 2012, with exclusive interview added.

    Speakers at an East Africa Oil and Gas Summit in Nairobi yesterday urged the region’s governments to cooperate and harmonise their plans for processing and transport infrastructure.

    “We are not competing with Uganda,” the Managing Director of Kenya’s National Oil Corporation, Summaya  Hassan Athmani, told delegates.  “The challenge is to expand our thinking beyond national boundaries and to think about this as a regional issue.” Read More

  • No oil without roads overhaul, logistic experts confirms

    Uganda’s roads are utterly inadequate to support the volume and weight of heavy equipment that will be needed for oil production, according to a senior manager in a major international logistics company that ships oil and gas rigs around the world. Read More