Before a drop of Uganda’s oil has been produced for sale, the small and once sleepy town of Masindi, 40 kilometres from the prospective oilfields of Butiaba, is bustling with investment and anticipation. Hopes are high—but so are prices, as demand soars for land and services. Property developers and service industries are reporting quick profits, but Oil in Uganda staff writers found losers as well as winners in this boom town in the making.
MASINDI, March 12, 2102: Fifty-year-old farmer, Yoram Kwebiihe, who has toiled all his life on his 15-acre farm, growing mainly maize and beans for home consumption and selling a small surplus, cannot believe his luck. Read More
Bills to regulate Uganda’s oil and gas sector, tabled in parliament in February, leave too much power in the hands of the minister in charge of petroleum and fall short on transparency, accountability and environmental protection, according to international NGO and academic critics.
“Tight ministerial control, absence of parliamentary oversight and a lack of guarantees on contract and financial transparency remain key features of both Bills,” according to the UK based NGO, Global Witness in a new report, Uganda’s petroleum legislation: Safeguarding the sector. Read More
The government is considering adapting power stations that now run on imported fuel so that they can burn Uganda’s crude oil instead, leading to small-scale oil production “within one or two years,” Petroleum Exploration and Production Department chief, Ernest Rubondo, tells Oil in Uganda in this exclusive interview.
Land is meanwhile being acquired for the oil refinery project, says Mr. Rubondo. The country, he adds, “will take a decision on the extent to which they want to participate [through the proposed National Oil Company] in the risk aspects of the business.”
The full text of the interview follows. Read More
Oil exploitation can bring immense negative impacts on the environment. These would have a significant influence on Uganda’s development pathway because environmental sustainability is intricately linked with growth. The government has focused on oil at the expense of environment and climate change despite the Government of Uganda being a signatory to the climate change convention and Kyoto Protocol. Read More
The Inter-Religious Council of Uganda (IRCU), which held a two-day meeting for religious leaders in the oil-rich Albertine region at the end of January, is planning to follow this up with a national conference later this year and to establish a Peace Institute to train people of different faiths in issues related to natural resources and extractive industries.
Neptune Petroleum (Uganda) Ltd., a wholly owned subsidiary of UK-based exploration company, Tower Resources, has struck unlucky for a third time in the West Nile region where a 590 metre well drilled in February failed to find any oil.
The Mvule-1 well was drilled in Exploration Area 5, a 2,491 km2 strip following the course of the Nile as it flows north to the border with South Sudan. Neptune has been surveying and prospecting the area since 2005. Two earlier exploration wells— Iti-1 and Avivi-1—were drilled in 2009 and 2010 respectively, but neither struck oil. Read More