Uganda to sign oil drilling agreement with international oil firms

jack  Paul Lowry1Uganda has an estimated 3.5bn barrels in reserves. (Image source: Paul Lowry/Flickr)Uganda is close to concluding an agreement on oil drilling in the Lake Albertine Rift basin with international oil firms, according to a statement released by the Uganda president’s office

A spokeswoman quoted the Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni as saying, “We are about to conclude an oil and gas extraction plan in the Lake Albertine Rift basin that will be reasonable for both Uganda and the oil companies participating in the venture.

“Uganda discovered oil in 2006 but has not been able to start the extraction process owing to a battle with oil companies.”

Uganda has an estimated 3.5bn barrels in reserves which could see it join Nigeria, Angola and Sudan as a big sub-Saharan oil producer.

The government had denied drilling licences unless oil companies agreed to build a refinery and process most of the crude in Uganda. The companies have been demanding a pipeline to be built to the East African coast.

Oil projects worth as much as US$12bn have been on hold since the impasse started more than a year ago.

Total SA said executives met President Museveni last month but added that it won't start work on its concessions until the pipeline was approved.

Other companies ready to start production in Uganda include Tullow Oil and CNOOC.

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