Uganda officially approved a final tender to a company controlled by TotalEnergies to construct a $3.5 billion oil pipeline through to Tanzania.
The main aim of this approval is to develop the East African country’s oil fields where commercial petroleum production has been slowed down for close to two decades.
This is due to a lack of infrastructure and disagreements between the government and oil companies. Another aim is that this approval will give an automatic way to the construction of the pipeline to the transportation of the country’s crude internationally.
Thirdly, The project aims to extract the huge crude reserves under Lake Albert, a 160-kilometre-long natural border between Uganda and the DRC.
This was discussed on Monday during a meeting however approved by Uganda’s cabinet on Wednesday 18 January 2023.
The proposed pipeline will run from landlocked Uganda’s oil fields in the country’s west to a port on Tanzania’s Indian Ocean coast, a distance of 1,445 kilometres. It should be noted that total energies is the largest shareholder in EACOP with a 62% stake.
Research has it in fact that other investors are; the state-run Uganda National Oil Company plus Tanzania Petroleum Development Corporation, which have 15% each, while China’s CNOOC (0883.HK) holds 8% statically.
The project will consist of drilling in Murchison Falls, Uganda’s largest national park commonly famous for mountain gorillas.
According to environmentalists, the project will suffocate natives in such places leaving them displaced.