President Museveni has assured Ugandans and the EAC region that the East African Company Oil Pipeline (EACOP) project, will go ahead despite a resolution by European lawmakers calling for it to be delayed over “rights violations”.

France’s TotalEnergies and the China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC) signed a $10-billion agreement earlier this year to develop Ugandan oilfields and ship the crude through a 1,445-kilometre (900-mile) pipeline to Tanzania’s Indian Ocean port of Tanga.

“I saw in the papers that the EU parliament passed a resolution directing TOTAL not to proceed with the East African Crude Oil Pipeline. Please, don’t waste your time thinking about that. We have a contract with TOTAL written very well. The oil will come out in 2025, the first batch. The Oil project will go on and no one can stop it,” President Museveni said during a meeting at Kololo Independence grounds ‘

Museveni later tweeted: “Total Energies convinced me about the Pipeline idea; if they choose to listen to the EU Parliament, we shall find someone else to work with…Either way, we shall have our oil coming out by 2025 as planned. So, the people of Uganda should not worry.”

President Yoweri Museveni’s strong comments about this much desired project follow those of Deputy Speaker Thomas Tayebwa, who stated thus ;”These are projects which were approved by the parliament of Uganda, the parliament of a sovereign country and anything to do with challenging their approval is an affront to the independence of this house and we cannot take it lightly,” he said.

Tayebwa lashed out at the  European Union Parliament  resolution calling the latest move by Europeans – “ economic racism” and “neo-colonialism.”

Presiding over parliament Tayebwa  condemned the resolution saying the idea behind it is an act of neo-colonialism by the Europeans thinking that they can control the economic affairs of independent African countries.

“The resolution is based on misinformation and deliberate misrepresentation of key facts on environment and human rights protection. It represents the highest level of neo-colonialism and imperialism against the sovereignty of Uganda and Tanzania” Tayebwa charged.

The production of Uganda’s oil in 2025 remains on course as contractors – CNOOC and Total Energies have registered another milestone with the completion of their first oil drilling rigs for the Tilenga project after passing endurance tests at the Honghua Factory, Guanghan City in China. 

The huge -costly equipment which were shipped and have been on the high seas on the journey to Uganda is said to have arrived at the East African port of Mombasa according to a tweet from CNOOC Uganda Limited . The one of Total Energies is expected to arrive in Uganda in November ,2022.

” Steps to first oil.@ CNOOC Uganda Ltd Kingsfisher oilfield rig reaches Mombasa port and will soon be in Uganda and there’s no turning back,” CNOOC Uganda stated on their official Twitter handle.

Once production commences -the oil will be transported to the sea port of Tanga in Tanzania through the East Africa Company Oil Pipeline ( EACOP) and will traverse the ten (10) districts of Hoima, Kikuube, Kakumiro, Kyankwanzi, Gomba, Mubende, Lwengo, Sembabule, Kyotera and Rakai in Uganda costing (approx. US$3.6bn).

CNOOC is one of two licensed oil companies that will work on the EACOP project till 2025 when the first oil is expected to be produced in what will be historic milestone for Uganda and the East African region . The other company involved in EACOP project is Total Energies Co. ltd .

Of the total 1,443km, Uganda will host 296 km of the pipeline. This is going to take up about 2,740 acres of land. A final Resettlement Action Plan report was submitted to the Ministry by the Pipeline Project Team (PPT) and the report was approved in 2021.

Total Energies’ Tier one contractor Zhongyuan Petroleum Exploration Bureau (ZPEB) received the oil rig code named ‘ZPEB Rig 1501’ at the official handover ceremony in China . ZPEB undertook to deliver the rigs after they – won the multi-million contract for the detailed designs and construction of oil drilling rigs for Uganda .

Total Energies Uganda Consultant Mr Thierry Vinay was excited about this giant step forward and has stated thus;” “This signifies progress towards the commencement of our drilling activities and subsequent delivery of first oil in Uganda. Thank you to all the teams that have worked tirelessly on building this rig and we look forward to receiving it in Uganda.”

The oil rig will be deployed to ensure the first oil production in 2025 at 400 oil wells -north of Lake Albert in Buliisa and Nyowa districts.  According to a statement from Total Energies – the ‘ZPEB Rig 1501’ is a highly innovative 1,500 Horsepower (HP) walking land rig with full integration, automation, low emission and is fully soundproofed. The rig’s 1,500 HP is equivalent to the horsepower of four heavy duty trucks. 

CNOOC said their rig the first that will be deployed in East Africa region – has been customized for its Kingfisher wells . CNOOC says the rig is a fully automated silent industrial equipment that is outfitted with industry -leading technologies such as well -site de-noising control , a zero discharge system ,and a pipe column automation system.

Total Energies will undertake drilling of more than 400 oil wells spread across 31 well pads in six fields (Jobi Rii, Ngiri, Gunya,Kigogole, Nsoga, Kasemene and Wahrindi) in Nwoya and Buliisa districts. 

The company is undertaking major infrastructural developments to allow timely drilling operations that will include the construction of the Tangi Operation Support Base camp. Some 600 oil workers for the exploitation of oil resources within Murchison Falls Park will be housed here .

The company is also undertaking civil works of the industrial area in Buliisa District. This covers 300 hectares and it will host the Central Processing Facility (CPF) operating for 24 hours with camping facilities for 4,000 people, an operations support base, drilling base, wastewater treatment plant, and a lake water abstraction system.

The CPF will process 190,000 barrels of oil per day with a supply of crude oil through 160 kilometers of flow-lines from the oil wells.  Another 95 kilometre-24 inch feeder pipeline will transport the processed crude oil from the central processing facility in Buliisa to the export hub and refinery in Kabaale in Hoima.

Minister Hon. Dr. Nankabirwa busy clearing all the hurdles to ensure smooth implementation

Energy Minister Hon. Ruth Nankabirwa and the ministry’s technical team led by Eng. Irene Batebe has been working around the clock to clear all obstacles that could undermine the fast and smooth implemnattion of the strategic national development project . The Ministry of Energy has since speared headed the passing of the East African Crude Oil Pipeline (EACOP) (Special Provisions) law – which is an important “legislation of our time”- because it will facilitate the first crude oil pipeline development in Uganda and the East African Region.

Nankabirwa has said that the law will facilitate the Implementation of  two important agreements – the Intergovernmental Agreement (IGA) between the Republic of Uganda and the United Republic of Tanzania which was signed  on May 26 2017  and the  Host Government Agreement (HGA) -which  was entered between the Republic of Uganda and the EACOP Company.

Moses Paul Sserwanga Esq.

Media and Communications Consultant /Advocate of the High Court


C/O Prime Time Communications Ltd

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