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  • Ghana’s Tema Oil Refinery: expensive and inefficient, critics say, but the Government of Ghana appears committed to keeping it going.

    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

  • Part of the disused Tororo-Pakwach line as it passes near Gulu.

    Oil spurs rail revival

    Part of the disused Tororo-Pakwach line as it passes near Gulu.

    After decades of neglect, colonial railways built to extract East Africa’s resources are beginning to be revamped to facilitate oil extraction.

    Oil production brings huge, freight transport needs. Tullow Uganda’s General Manager, Jimmy Mugerwa, caused a stir at a January conference in Kampala when he revealed that close to a million tonnes of cargo will be moved into the region from the coast to kick start oil production. Read More

  • Image: RVR repairs

    Working together: good idea, but hard to do

    Repairs to the railway network operated by RVR in Kenya and Uganda: a modest start to getting the region ready for oil production. (Photo: WMC Africa)

    A regional deal on oil infrastructure would likely be in the best interests of all East Africa’s players—but it doesn’t seem likely to happen, writes Chris Musiime in this special report, which will appear in our fourth print newsletter.

    With the recent oil discoveries in Kenya, confirmed commercial quantities in Uganda and prospecting under way in Somalia and Ethiopia (as well as huge gas discoveries in Tanzania, which is also prospecting for oil), some estimates indicate that East Africa could soon be producing upwards of a million barrels of oil per day. Read More

  • Hon. Mary Jervase Yak (South Sudan) chats with Prof. Edward Rugumayo at the forum (Photo: Wandera Ouma)

    Proper revenue management, infrastructure development top agenda at regional oil and gas forum

    South Sudan’s Hon. Mary Jervase Yak  chats with Uganda’s Prof. Edward Rugumayo at the forum (Photo: Wandera Ouma)

    Key speakers at the ongoing regional forum on oil and gas in Kampala have emphasised the need for proper management of oil revenues as the East African Region prepares to join the world’s oil and gas producers.

    While opening the forum, Uganda’s Finance Minister, Hon. Maria Kiwanuka, stressed that oil revenues should be used to boost the sustainability of other productive sectors. “We want the black gold underground to facilitate the green gold above the ground”, she said. “Agriculture and tourism are all renewable resources vital to our economy. They need good financing for sustainability”. 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

  • The landscape in Nwoya District where Total has found more oil.

    Exclusive: Total makes new oil discovery in Nwoya

    The landscape in Nwoya District where Total has found more oil.

    Total S.A. has made a new discovery of oil in Nwoya District, according to a senior member of the government, although details remain sketchy and no official announcement has been made.

    State Minister for Minerals, Peter Lokeris, revealed the news a week ago in an exclusive interview with Oil in Uganda. “Now that [new] oil has been discovered in Nwoya, the company should improve the infrastructure and create job opportunities,” he said. Read More

  • Image: Christmas turkey

    So you think you know about oil? And want to be a millionaire?

    For this young man, a bird on the shoulder is worth more than a barrel of oil in the bush (Photo: NY)

    The Oil in Uganda team extends warm, seasonal greetings to all our readers.  Also, to entertain you in between bouts of feasting, we have prepared a little quiz to test your general knowledge of oil  in Uganda and beyond.  Doing the quiz won’t, alas, make you a millionaire, but you may glean some interesting–and some shocking–facts. The answers to the following twenty questions appear at the end of the text—together with a ‘performance assessment’ depending on how many questions you answered correctly. Read More

  • Image: Loïc Laurandel

    TOTAL expects “compromise” with government soon—but no oil for five years

    Loïc Laurandel, General Manager of Total’s exploration and production division in Uganda

    International companies working Uganda’s oilfields expect to agree on a development plan with the government within the next few months, according to Loïc Laurandel, the General Manager of TOTAL Exploration and Production Uganda, but he emphasises that it will still be at least five years before oil can come on stream, and this will be “physically impossible” without substantial improvement to the entire stretch of road from Kenya’s port of Mombasa to the oil-bearing Hoima District in Western Uganda.

    “We are meeting [government] regularly and we hope to get to compromise some time before Spring next year” Mr. Laurandel told Oil in Uganda in an exclusive interview.  Read More

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

    “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