Uganda starts oil drilling in $10 billion scheme: Tanzania and Lake Albert

Uganda starts oil drilling in $10 billion scheme: Tanzania and Lake Albert

Kanako Mita and Michiyo Tanabe

Modern Tokyo Times

Uganda finally launched its opening oil drilling program. If the Kingfisher field succeeds in the planned target of 2025 output, this oil field will export crude oil by utilizing a port on the Indian Ocean in Tanzania.

The $10 billion planned scheme to exploit oil reserves will equally tie economic development with Tanzania. Accordingly, a pipeline linking the oil reserves of Lake Albert to a port in Tanzania is now set in motion.

Uganda needs to harness the pipeline in a region known for its biodiversity. The oil reserves under Lake Albert were known over 20 years ago. However, economic constraints and other factors meant little was done.

The China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC) – state-owned – will operate the Kingfisher field.

TotalEnergies (France) last year said, “… we commit to investing $10 billion in the Tilenga and Kingfisher projects and the 1,443-km long pipeline.”

Reuters reports, “Uganda on Tuesday commissioned the first of its four planned oil rigs and the start of drilling the first production well, a key milestone as the country races to meet its target of first oil output in 2025 after a long delay.”

Opposition against the oil platforms and pipeline exists. This concerns the fragile ecosystem and the uprooting of many people. One of the oil fields is located in the largest national park in Uganda.

Africa Times reports, “The European Parliament resolution warns that the project threatens wetlands and water resources, along with the livelihoods of “farmers, fisherfolk, and tourism business owners” who depend upon natural resources in the region.”

Uganda and Tanzania rejected the European Parliament resolution that was uttered last year.

CNOOC, TotalEnergies, and the state oil companies of Uganda and Tanzania are involved in several projects.

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