By Our Oil and Gas Reporters
Energy is an important and very critical ingredient for the development and growth of any economy and therefore- Uganda and other East Africa member states are determined to develop their natural resources including oil and gas for the development of the region and the Africa , President Yoweri Museveni has stated.
In a speech read for him by the Vice President , Jessica Alupo, Museveni said that EAC attaches a great significance to cooperation in exploration and development of energy resources available in our region to need the energy needs of the people and eliminate the concept of “energy poverty”.
“Without energy, EAC cannot achieve the intended goals of integration with the aim of achieving economic, social and political integration so as to create wealth in the region and enhance competitiveness through increased production, trade and investment in the oil and gas sector,” Museveni stressed.
Uganda’ s Vice President Alupo representing HE Museveni at the conference where participants underscored the need for Africa and Africans defining their energy development agenda
Alupo represented President Yoweri Museveni at a colourful opening ceremony of a well attended 10th East African Petroleum conference and exhibition at Kampala Serena hotel. The conference that has attracted close to one thousand delegates from seven EAC member states is held under the theme East Africa -a hub for investment in Exploration and Exploitation of petroleum resources for sustainable energy and social economic development.
Museveni said that EAC partner states place a lot of emphasis on cooperation in joint exploration and development of the energy resources found within the Community.
He said that the EAC as a region is aware of a global push for energy transition, which means moving away from the use of fossil fuels to renewable energy. “We believe that if the developed countries want to, they can develop and commercialize technologies that will make fossil fuels good for use. As
the way forward therefore, I would like to emphasize that for the East Africa region and Africa in general, we do recognize that the threats posed by
climate change are real and we support measures aimed at protecting the environment.
Uganda’s Energy Minister Dr. Ruth Nankabirwa welcomes Vice President Alupo at the 10th EAC Petroleum conference where delegates from seven member states are attending
But such measures must conform with the “principle of equity and common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities, in the light of different national circumstances” as enshrined in the Paris Climate Agreement as this principle was key in assuaging the fears of developing countries, especially oil and gas producing countries, in the early years of the climate negotiation process,” Museveni emphasized.
The push for energy transition is coming at a time when the EAC region has established significant petroleum that can greatly contribute to the
economies of the region. In order to utilize these resources and those that may be discovered in the future, the EAC came together and developed a
strategy on regional refineries development in 2008.
The strategy addresses development of refineries and other infrastructure required to enhance storage and distribution of petroleum products in the region. This strategy identified the need for a refinery in Uganda upon confirmation of the commercial reserves of the oil discoveries. The
Government of Uganda is now progressing the development of the refinery.
On her part ,the Vice President Alupo noted that the Conference and Exhibition is one way of promoting the petroleum potential and investment opportunities in the oil and gas sector in East Africa.
The Vice President said that Uganda is proud and honoured to host the Conference aimed at showcasing the East African Community (EAC) as a destination of choice for oil and gas investment opportunities to enhance socio-economic transformation.
She said that a visit to Uganda, the Pearl of Africa, will offer an opportunity to meet all the key stakeholders in the Petroleum industry in the East African Region while at the same time having a treat of the gifted nature of Uganda’s flora, fauna and unrivalled weather along the equator.
The Minister of Energy and Mineral Development Dr Ruth Nankabirwa Ssentamu told the participants that Uganda made the first commercial discovery of oil in 2006 and it is estimated that the country’s in place volume of oil resources to-date is six and half (6.5) billion barrels of oil equivalent, of which 1.4 billion is estimated to be recoverable in the Albertine Graben.
She explained that Uganda’s oil and gas resources are being commercialized through an oil refinery and crude oil export through the East African Crude Oil Pipeline (EACOP) that are being developed.
The Final Investment Decision for the upstream projects and the EACOP was announced on the 1st February, 2022 and project developments are ongoing with a target of First Oil in 2025 and these developments are expected to cost US 15 billion the next three years.
Permanent Secretary Ministry of Energy Uganda , Eng. Irene Bateebe having a light moment with VC Alupo
The Permanent Secretary Ministry of Energy Eng. Irene Bateebe said that Uganda’s oil and gas sector has created immense investment opportunities for both local and international investors . She said the ministry was ready to engage with the private sector and international investors to uptake the more than 85% of the opportunities available as exploration and exploitation is accelerated .
Dr. Elly Karuhanga the former chairman Chamber of Mines and Petroleum gave a passionate key note address and called for government’s increased partnership with the private sector to fast track the development of the oil and gas sector. He called for the elimination of all bottlenecks that holdback investments and slows private investments in the sector .
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