In April this year, China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC), Total and the presidents of Uganda and Tanzania signed the final agreements required to launch the Lake Albert development project. The development includes the Tilenga and Kingfisher upstream oil projects in Uganda and the construction of the East African Crude Oil Pipeline (EACOP) in Uganda and Tanzania. The Tilenga project, operated by Total, and the Kingfisher project, operated by CNOOC, are expected to deliver a combined production of 230,000 barrels per day (bpd) at plateau, Total said. The production will be transported from the oilfields in Uganda to the port of Tanga in Tanzania via the EACOP cross-border pipeline, in which Total and CNOOC will also be shareholders.
Now the Petroleum Authority of Uganda will launch in December the first key tenders for the long-awaited oil resources development project in the East African country, which cleared a major hurdle earlier this month after France’s supermajor signed the agreements to develop the project.
The first phase of the key tenders will include tendering work for the construction of a refinery and an oil pipeline to carry the crude from landlocked Uganda to a port in Tanzania for export. The tenders will also include such for the completion of the oil road network in the region of Lake Albert, where the crude resources have been discovered, Peninah Aheebwa, director of technical support services at the Petroleum Authority of Uganda, said, as carried by local media.
Although the final agreement was a major step forward, the companies need to clear additional hurdles in terms of project financing.
The pipeline project has also drawn criticism from environmental groups. The #StopEACOP Alliance and other environmental organizations call on financial institutions to refuse to fund the project.
“The oil companies are trying to dress up the investment decision signing ceremony, but fortunately this climate-destroying project is far from a done deal,” said David Pred, Executive Director of Inclusive Development International.
“Total and CNOOC still need to secure insurance and raise $2.5 billion in debt financing for the EACOP to move forward and they are going to struggle mightily to find enough banks and insurance providers willing to associate themselves with such a reckless project and assume its manifold risks on their books.”