Uganda has pushed its oil production to 2022 from the country’s target of 2021. This is according to Energy Minister Irene Muloni.
Irene explained that factors such as lack of infrastructures that is the pipeline and a refining facility has held up the output resulting in the slight delay. “We have to build a pipeline for exports and a refinery in order for us to start producing the oil,” said Ms. Muloni.
East African Oil Pipeline
Uganda discovered oil 10 years ago with a current reserve of 1.4 barrels of recoverable oil. The oil production has since faced delays from disagreements with field operators over taxes and development strategy.
The government of Uganda signed a deal with a consortium that include a subsidiary of General Electric to build and operate a 60,000 barrel per day refinery that is estimated to cost US $3bn to US $4bn.
Once completed, a 1,443km pipeline will be constructed to transport the refined oil to Tanga port in Tanzania for export. The 24 inch diameter pipeline that will be constructed in 2022 will have the capacity to transport 260,000 barrels of oil.
Ms. Muloni noted that the first production in 2022 would come from the Kingfisher and Tilenga blocks. The China’s National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC) is the operator for Kingfisher area while Total is leading the development of Tilenga.
Due to the viscous and waxy nature of Uganda’s crude oil, the pipeline will need to be heated along the entire route making the East African Oil Pipeline the longest electrically heated oil pipeline in the world. Tanzania is expected to take 15 to 20% stake.
Uganda will be the fourth largest reserves of crude oil so far discovered on the continent of Africa behind Nigeria, Angola and South Sudan with proven crude oil reserves of 6.5 billion barrels.