It is expected that pipeline shareholder agreements and others that are yet to be signed will be concluded when the new Tanzanian President, Samia Suluhu and her technocrats meet President Museveni on Sunday at Statehouse Entebbe.
The long wait for Uganda's Final Investment Decision for oil
and gas could come to an end this Sunday, following talks between government officials
and industry leaders from Uganda and Tanzania.
Tanzania's new president Samia Hassan Suluhu is
due in the country for talks that should culminate into the signing
of the deals on Sunday 11, according to a top official from the
Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
"The Tanzanian President will be on her journey in a few hours
for talks, which will climax with the signing ceremony on Sunday,” the official
said. This is President Suluhu’s first state visit since her elevation to replace the
late John Pombe Magufuli, as the president of Tanzania last month.
"Something major is expected to happen this
weekend, regarding Uganda's oil," confirmed Herbert Ssempogo, Senior
Corporate Affairs Officer at the Uganda National Oil Company, without giving details.
It is expected that pipeline shareholder agreements and others that are yet to be signed will be concluded when the new Tanzanian President, Samia Suluhu meets President Museveni on Sunday at Statehouse Entebbe.
Meanwhile sources at Petroleum Authority indicated that a
team from French Oil Giant Total already jetted into Uganda from Tanzania.
Total is part of the Joint Venture Partners that are supposed to make a Final
Investment Decision (FID) to pave way for the construction of the Oil pipeline
as well as the refinery in Hoima.
The late Magufuli was due in Kampala on March 22
for the three-way signing of the crude oil export pipeline deal between the
governments of Uganda and Tanzania and the French oil giant Total, the lead
investor. However, he died a week before the due date.
Kampala then announced that the deal would be
signed the early half of April, to pave the way for the construction of the
1440km export pipeline from Western Uganda to the Tanzanian Indian Ocean Port
According to concluded discussions so far,
construction of the pipeline will be completed within 36 months of the signing
of the deal, and this will commence the commercial production of oil.
A six billion barrel-per-day refinery is also
planned to process crude oil and the finished products will be consumed by the
local and regional markets.
President Magufuli had vowed that it would take as
short as 18 months and wanted all the other processes fast-tracked. The project is due to cost USD3.5 billion.
The final talks before the final deal is signed touch on the
crude oil transportation, the transport tariffs as well as the shareholding structure
of the East African Crude Oil Pipeline Company, EACOP.
According to the current structure, Total SA owns 45 per cent shares
in the company, while China’s CNOOC holds 35 per cent.
Another 15 per cent is held by the government of Uganda through the
UNOC, with the other 5 per cent held by Tanzania through the Tanzania Petroleum
Development Corporation. Uganda first discovered commercially viable oil
deposits in 2007, but production dates have been postponed several times by
legal and tax disputes.