Amidst all this, the migration from fossil fuel to cleaner sources of energy is also gathering pace, with the automotive industry, which is the main consumer, increasingly going for battery-powered electric engine vehicles.
Uganda’s oil and gas industry has a bright future, despite
pessimistic views caused by the declining role of fossil fuels, as well as the
ability to utilize the resources for the benefit of Ugandans, according to
A continental network comprising willing governments and
businesses allied to the industry thinks Uganda has made enough preparations
for this, as well as efforts to avoid the oil curse.
The exploitation of the country’s petroleum resource has been delayed for almost a decade after Hardman Petroleum, later acquired by Tullow, discovered
commercially viable deposits in 2006. However, ensuing debates and negotiations
involving the executive, the legislature, the investors and the civil society have caused discomfort among Ugandans that the resultant delays could erode the
value of the resources.
Amidst all this, the migration from fossil fuel to cleaner sources of
energy is also gathering pace, with the automotive industry, which is the main consumer, increasingly going for battery-powered electric engine vehicles. This literary affects the value of petroleum and raises questions as to
whether Uganda and other nascent industries will benefit from the heavy
investment currently being sunk into the commercial development of the
worries that by the time Uganda gets into full production in 5 to 7 years,
the commodity will have lost its value. But the African Energy Chamber Chairman, NJ
Ayuk says sentiments about the future value of oil are being presented by those
who know little about the industry.
In an Interview with URN, Ayuk, who is also
the Chief Executive Officer of Centurion Law Group, says this will also be supported by
the growth of African economies and populations as well as growing demand in
Asia and China, a leading investor in Uganda’s oil. Ayuk said that instead, the migration process will actually boost prices for Uganda’s oil because as the
west pulls out, the demand will increase.
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Global petroleum prices are usually influenced by speculation
arising from happenings that might affect production. The highest recorded
price per barrel was USD 147 in July 2008, when there was a threat by Libya
to cut output, and the oil producers’ cartel, OPEC, predicted
prices to reach USD 170 that year.
The collapse of one of the largest
financial institutions, the Lehman Brothers, the strengthening of the US Dollar
and the anticipated decline in demand in the European Union was blamed for a
drop in prices to USD 35 a barrel by December that same year.
Meanwhile, Ayuk, who was last week in Uganda
on a study tour of the industry, hails the role of the civil society saying
they make sure that each party plays its part responsibly, which will protect
the resources and the environment, among others. He added that it was good that
Uganda took a long understanding of the industry and learning lessons from other
countries that started developing their industries before.
This would therefore
help Uganda manage the resources better, for the benefit of the citizens and
avoid the oil curse and resource poverty that have characterized countries like
Nigeria, yet they were avoided by others like Ghana and Trinidad and Tobago.
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preparations, Uganda has focused on the training of both managers and
technicians of the industry. This, according to the government, will help the
country ensure that most of the jobs and revenues will go to Ugandans,
especially under the national content policy.
Ayuk stressed that Uganda has
built the best human resource capacity in the region, and is confident it will
manage the oil industry adequately.