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  • EITI unveils revised standards

    The Nigeria Stall at the EITI exhibition in Sydney. Nigeria has recovered two billion dollars of mismanaged funds as a result of EITI.

    The sixth Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) global conference opened today in Sydney, Australia, with the watchdog unveiling revised, more stringent standards for member countries and those intending to join.

    Perhaps the most significant of the revised standards is the requirement for member states to make their contracts with the companies, including the Production Sharing Agreements, more transparent. Read More

  • Albertine safe from rebel threat, police to take charge

    Colonel Felix Kulayigye

    The oil rich Albertine Region is secure from rebel attacks from the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) despite media reports that the rebel group is actively recruiting in Kampala and parts of Eastern Uganda, says the Uganda People’s Defense Forces (UPDF) Chief Political Commissar and former spokesman, Felix Kulayigye. Read More

  • Local content, corruption, dominate opening day of COMESA Oil and Gas Summit

    Delegates at the COMESA Oil and Gas Summit in Kampala. Front row (L-R): Uganda’s junior Economic Monitoring Minister, Henry Banyenzaki; Tullow Uganda President, Elly Karuhanga; and Uganda Industrial Research Institute Head, Dr. Charles Kwesiga. Fifth right is Norwegian Ambassador, Thorbjorn Gaustadsaether.

    The COMESA Oil and Gas Summit opened in Kampala today, with speakers calling on the government and oil companies to recruit more Ugandans in the oil and gas industry, but also eradicate corruption. Read More

  • EITI Board suspends DRC

    The Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) Board suspended the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) mid this month following concerns that it was not fully disclosing financial information and the disclosed financial figures were not reliable.

    EITI is an international initiative that operates on the principle that companies working in the extractives sector of member countries must publicly disclose payments they make to governments and governments disclose whatever revenues they receive from those companies. Read More

  • Ruling party expels rebellious ‘Oil MPs’

    Lwemiyaga MP Theodore Ssekikubo

    The ruling NRM party announced early this week that it had expelled four Members of Parliament for indiscipline, two of whom were vocal critics of the recently passed Petroleum, Exploration and Development Act.

    Theodore Ssekikubo and Wilfred Niwagaba were also members of the Parliamentary Forum on Oil and Gas (PFOG), a pressure group of legislators advocating for greater transparency in the oil and gas sector.

    Among the charges brought against Hon. Ssekikubo, was his role as chairman of PFOG. Hon. Niwagaba was also accused of belonging to the same Forum, which “is opposed to the NRM position on oil.” Read More

  • Government and oil companies agree on refinery, pipeline strategy

    Ghana’s  45,000 bpd Tema Oil Refinery: The Uganda government has  reached an agreement with the oil companies to set up a similar facility, but  with less capacity.

    The deadlock between the government of Uganda and international oil companies over the size of the refinery to be built in Hoima District has finally been broken, a senior government official has confirmed.

    “The government and the oil companies have struck a deal that it should be 30,000 barrels a day,” Assistant Petroleum Commissioner Robert Kasande told Oil in Uganda in a telephone interview.

    Previously, the government had wanted to start with a small refinery producing 20,000 barrels a day, and then progressively scale it up to 120,000 barrels per day. Oil companies argued that this was too ambitious and that the majority of the crude oil should be exported through a pipeline.  Read More

  • Corruption a major concern as transparency conference opens in Kampala

    Rtd.Bishop Baker Ocholla (Photo: CM)

    Ugandan delegates attending a two-day Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) Implementation Conference in Kampala have expressed their worry over government’s apparent reluctance to protect oil revenues from corrupt officials.

    Reacting to the opening speech by Uganda’s junior Minister for Finance in charge of investments, Hon. Aston Kajara, several Ugandan delegates observed that government had not instituted adequate measures to safe guard oil revenue, yet the Public Finance Bill would be tabled soon. Read More

  • Environment is weakest link in Norwegian aid to Uganda, says report

    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

  • Norway model not the best for Uganda, says leading oil commentator

    Dr. Duncan Clarke (Photo:in2eastafrica)

    Uganda does not necessarily have to adopt the Norwegian model for it to have a sustainable oil industry, says Zimbabwean born Dr. Duncan Clarke, an author and commentator on oil issues in Africa.

    In a presentation to the 6th East African Petroleum Exhibition and Conference in Arusha last week, Dr. Clarke referred to the Norwegian model as the “advocacy NGO type model” which “constrains the growth of the natural resource.” Read More

  • Image: Bukenya Matovu

    “As soon as the president assents, everything will be in motion”

    Bukenya Matovu, Senior Assistant Secretary in the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development

    What are the next steps in establishing the Petroleum Authority and National Oil Company mandated by the upstream Petroleum Bill passed at the end of last year?  Why has the president, who repeatedly intervened to push the bill through parliament, not yet got round to signing it?  When will the government invite bids from companies keen to take up new exploration licences?   What are the prospects for East African countries to come up with a joint, win-win, oil infrastructure development plan?  And with so much oil and gas prospecting in the region, can Uganda be sure that there will be a local export market for products from the country’s planned oil refinery?  These are the among the questions addressed by Mr. Bukenya Matovu, Senior Assistant Secretary in the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development and the ministry’s main spokesperson , in the following, exclusive interview, transcribed in full. Read More