Gas “flaring” has for decades been recognised as both wasteful and environmentally hazardous, but it continues on a significant scale around the world today despite various initiatives, codes of conduct, laws and agreements to halt it. Read More
The Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries’ (OPEC) dominance of the global oil market is shrinking due to rising supply of shale oil mainly from the United States, according to the cartel’s monthly report for August, 2013. Read More
A bizarre incident in which a local contractor dumped two truckloads of human waste in a village in Buliisa District has exposed the vulnerability of communities in oil-producing areas, but also demonstrated the potential downside of employing local companies in Uganda’s nascent oil and gas industry. Read More
Close to 100 billion cubic feet of natural gas is thought to lie trapped in a reservoir under Uganda’s Albertine Graben in addition to the 3.5 billion barrels of oil that have so far been discovered.
This sounds like a lot but it is chicken feed compared to the huge gas fields that have been discovered off the coast of South East Africa. Tanzania has found 40 trillion cubic feet. Mozambique has 100 trillion—1,000 times as much as Uganda. Read More
By Jean-Michel Enjolras
What is a ‘seismic survey?’ Total E & P Uganda’s Director of Geosciences explains all—and says his company is doing all it can to minimise the environmental impacts. Read More
Could drilling waste produced by Uganda’s oil wells be put to use in construction and agriculture rather than just being buried?
In theory, yes, writes Beatrice Ongode, citing examples from other countries; but in practice it will depend on whether it is economically viable to first treat and process the waste. Read More
Dr. Henry Aryamanya-Mugisha is the former Executive Director of the National Environment Management Authority (NEMA), an institution he served for nearly 15 years until June 2011.
He was at the helm of NEMA in 2006 when commercially viable quantities of oil were confirmed in Uganda, and spearheaded initial efforts to put measures in place to safeguard the environment amidst oil exploration and subsequent production.
Speaking exclusively to Oil in Uganda’s Beatrice Ongode, Dr. Aryamanya advised government to protect the ecologically-sensitive oil-rich Albertine Region, or “be prepared to handle what is coming its way.”
He disputes NEMA’s persistent claims that oil drilling waste in Uganda has been tested and confirmed non-hazardous, but sympathises with NEMA’s inability to fully exert its presence due to insufficient funding. Read More
With the government estimating that Uganda’s Albertine Graben holds at least 3.5 billion barrels of oil, expectations of many Ugandans are high—but so too are fears of environmental damage.
Other natural resources already generate revenue in the oil-rich region. It is home to premier tourist destinations, including the Queen Elizabeth, Murchison Falls and Semiliki national parks. And, experts agree, it is also an ecologically ‘sensitive’ area.
A major oil spill or a fire at an oil well could result in environmental catastrophe. But, as well as fearing such a nightmare scenario, Ugandan environmentalists also worry about how the country will manage a predictable and certain result of oil production—the generation of large amounts of oil waste. Read More
Seven years of ‘Oil for Development’ aid from Norway has significantly boosted the resource management capacity of Uganda’s Petroleum Exploration and Production Department (PEPD)—but environmental management lags far behind, with serious weaknesses in the National Environment Monitoring Authority (NEMA) and its partner agencies, according to a recent evaluation of the programme.
PEPD has demonstrated “good leadership and coordination” of Norwegian aid and “effective internal organisational development,” the evaluation report observes.
The Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development is also praised for “good leadership so far” and “good cooperation [with] subordinate institutions” on issues relating to tax and revenue management. Read More
OYO VILLAGE, RHINO CAMP SUB-COUNTY, ARUA DISTRICT: Three years ago, Neptune Petroleum drilled the 780 metre deep Avivi-1 exploration well on the outskirts of this village, in search of oil. The well did not find any. This was the second disappointment for Neptune, which held the exploration licence for the Rhino Camp basin, and had already sunk a dry well, Iti-1, in nearby Rigbo sub-county. After a third well, drilled last year, also proved dry, the company’s licence ran out, leaving it with nothing to show for an estimated US$ 50 million spent on the exploration effort. Read More