The National Oil Company of Uganda and China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC) have signed a partnership deal for the oil exploration in the Albertine Region. Both companies entered the agreement to take part in the petroleum extraction activity in the border of the Democratic Republic of Congo and Uganda. The region has alerted the interest of oil and gas companies since the discovery of the same in 2006.
The memorandum of understanding (MoU) was jotted down in Beijing, China with Uganda representative present not only to witness the agreement but attend the anticipated Forum on China-Africa Cooperation summit. Chinese President Xi Jinping and President Cyril Ramaphosa of South Africa chaired and co-chaired the meeting respectively.
The Government owned company provides supports in contract negotiations and offers guidance in the oil and gas industry on behalf of the Parliament. Its crucial goal is to use the petroleum resources to eradicate poverty level through employment opportunities and business creation as well as add significant value to the community at large.
The chief executive of the national oil company, Josephine Wapakhabulo, signed on behalf of Unoc while Fang Zhi, the Cnooc chairman, signed on behalf of the Chinese oil company. The country’s Head of States Yoweri Museveni was present as well during the signing. His presence was a gesture of support to foreign investors who are eyeing to collaborate with the Government for mutual benefits.
The state-owned enterprise can make a bid in the Albertine region and develop the project, courtesy of the accord. The availability of commercial petroleum resources should be able to benefit the entire society and improve the economic performance of the nation. Oil deposits are a hot-shot to many businesses which understand the value and nature of the petroleum product in the international market. They are game changers for the local currency.
The Albertine Graben is not only blessed with oil exploration blocks but also has waterbodies with the famous Lake Albert within the geographical location of the Rift. The mass water body plays a crucial role in socio-economic activities for the residents around the region as it is a breeding area for fishing.
The petroleum potential for Uganda could be promising and Albertine graben an area with potential for petroleum accumulation will indeed attract the indeed attract the attention of oil companies. Africa’s leading independent oil company Tullow Oil’s operation in the country has seen development in the nation’s oil industry.
Uganda has close to crude reserves of 6.5 billion barrels. It seeks to pump oil by 2021, with the Government pocketing at least $44 billion in the next 25 years. As Tanzania strikes natural gas deposits, Uganda joins Kenya is exploring the oil reserves. The former has licensed oil companies to invest in the exploration process.