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Petroleum Directorate formed as oil institutions begin to take shape

Ag. Director of the Petroleum Directorate, Ernest Rubondo

Ag. Director of the Petroleum Directorate, Ernest Rubondo

A Petroleum Directorate has been established in the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development, Oil in Uganda has learnt.

Under a new structure, the Ministry has also created separate Directorates for Energy and Minerals.

Former Commissioner of the Petroleum Exploration and Production Department (PEPD), Ernest Rubondo has been appointed Acting Director of the Petroleum Directorate.

“We are implementing the (National Oil and Gas) Policy. We were supposed to restructure and have Directorates in place and that is what the Ministry is undertaking,”Mr. Rubondo told Oil in Uganda today.

“There are three Directorates,” explained Gloria Sebikari, the Energy Ministry’s Senior Communications Officer. “The Directorate of Petroleum that shall deal with oil and gas, Directorate of Energy that shall deal with power and the Directorate of Minerals.” She added, “The Directorates have acting directors for now; for Minerals, it is Edwards Kato. These names and changes were approved by Public Service, but all this is provided for in the Policy.”

The National Oil and Gas Policy, provides for the creation of a Directorate of Petroleum, the Petroleum Authority of Uganda (PAU) and the National Oil Company (NATOIL).

The three institutions are meant to play separate but complimentary roles, with the Petroleum Directorate handling policy making and monitoring of the oil and gas sector; Petroleum Authority to regulate the sector and the National Oil Company handling the commercial aspects of the sector.

According to the Policy, the Petroleum Directorate comprises three departments: Upstream, Midstream and Downstream, and is also responsible for coordinating national capacity building for the oil and gas sector.

Last year, Parliament approved businessman Emmanuel Katongole’s appointment as Chairman of the National Oil Company alongside six other board members. President Museveni also appointed Immaculate Ssemanda Nakimera as Chairperson of the National Petroleum Authority and Reuben Kashambuzi, Doreen Kabasindi Wandera, Kiryowa Kiwanuka, Prof. Sande Stevens Tickodri Tagboa as members to the board.

Report by Flavia Nalubega