19 October 2011, Sweetcrude, Kampala – Uganda will start refining crude oil from its fields in 2014 and the proceeds are expected to help end the economy’s dependence on donor aid, its president said.
The east African nation discovered commercial oil deposits in 2006 in the Albertine basin along its border with the Democratic Republic of Congo and reserves of about 2.5 billion barrels have been confirmed.
“The first oil to be refined will be in the year 2014,” President Yoweri Museveni told a ruling party retreat in the eastern town of Jinja, Reuters report said.
Officials had to commission a feasibility study for the refinery to convince firms involved in the sector that the project was viable.
“We should resist ferociously those parasites who want to give away this resource for ‘a morsel’ of food as did Esau in the Bible,” Museveni said.
Firms involved in the nascent oil sector include London-listed Tullow Oil, Heritage Oil, French oil company, Total, and Chinese oil group, CNOOC.
Last week, Uganda’s parliament passed a resolution urging government to withhold consent to Tullow Oil’s proposed partnership with Total and CNOOC.
That deal, in which Tullow is selling stakes in its Ugandan exploration properties to the two companies for $2.9 billion, is expected to unlock a $10 billion investment that will see the country’s oil sector advance into production phase.