KEY INVESTMENT DECISION MONTHS AWAY AFTER UGANDA, TOTAL INKED PIPELINE DEAL
By Mulengera Reporter
An agreement signed between the Uganda government and the French oil giant Total E&P is being touted by oil and gas industry experts as a key step towards a major investment decision that could see production start in coming months.
On Friday, Uganda and Total signed the Host Government Agreement (HGA), which details the rights and obligations of Total in Uganda in regards to the East Africa Crude Oil Pipeline (EACOP) project, at an event that happened at State House Entebbe, with President Museveni and Patrick Pouyanne, the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Total, in attendance. The 1,445km pipeline will be expected to run from the Albertine Region to Tanga in Tanzania. Likely to start in 2021, the pipeline will consume a whopping $3.5bn (almostShs13tn).
The Minister of Energy and Mineral Development, Mary Goretti Kitutu, signed on behalf of Uganda while Nicolas Terraz, the Total Exploration and Production President for Africa, appended his signature on behalf of the oil giant.
Previous meetings between Uganda’s oil experts and the Total team had not yielded fruit after Museveni insisted that Uganda National Oil Company (UNOC) be made part of the pipeline project. But the two parties have now reached an agreement on what should be followed to allow UNOC onto project, and a decision to finally inject more cash into activities geared towards production will be announced in a few months, according to both parties.
“We have today reached major milestones which pave the way to the Final Investment Decision in the coming months. We now look forward to concluding a similar agreement with the Government of Tanzania and to completing the tendering process for all major engineering, procurement and construction contracts,” said Pierre Jessua, Managing Director of Total E&P Uganda.
On his part, Museveni noted that the journey to this agreement was “long but I want to assure Ugandans that this was deliberate. We have gone through every item.” He was also hopeful that oil production could spark of transformation but told Ugandans revenue from the black gold will not be put to consumption but will be committed to infrastructural development.
(For comments on this story, call, text or whatsapp us on 0705579994, 0779411734, 0200900416 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org).