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Regional Conference Projects EAC as Petroleum Powerhouse

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The East African region has established significant petroleum projects that can greatly contribute to the economies of the region according to President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni of Uganda.

Museveni made the remarks during the 10th edition of the East African Petroleum Conference and Exhibition 2023 that opened in Kampala on Wednesday.

According to him the global push for energy transition is coming at a time when the East African region has well invested in the petroleum industry.

“The strategy addresses the development of refineries and other infrastructure required to enhance storage and distribution of petroleum products in the region,” he said.

“Currently there are only 37 international oil and gas companies licensed to carry out petroleum prospecting in the region. I therefore urge local and international companies to take advantage of the opportunities in the sector,” he said.

He explained in a statement read to the conference on his behalf by Vice President Jessica Alupo that the region was set to develop a common energy policy to be backed with a protocol that will define the regional framework to support the development of the sector.

Uganda’s Minister of Energy and Petroleum Development, Uganda, Hon. Dr. Ruth Ssentamu, said that energy access and security were key aspirations for the region, adding that there is need to explore all the available energy resources.

The Minister further disclosed that in addition to the East African Crude Oil Pipeline project being implemented by Uganda and Tanzania, Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) had commenced bilateral talks to establish modalities of sharing infrastructure as both countries develop the oil and gas sector.

Addressing the more than 1,000 delegates attending the conference, the EAC Secretary General, Hon. (Dr) Peter Mathuki, observed that a few years ago, the East African region did not attract significant investments in the oil and gas sector but today, the region had benefited from advances in technology and management of exploration and production, which has led to the discovery of commercially viable oil and gas deposits.

“The discoveries in the region are very impressive; Uganda has 6.5 billion barrels and Kenya has 750 million barrels of oil reserves discovered and more than 50 trillion cubic feet of natural gas in Tanzania, exports of crude oil from South Sudan and the signs of oil and gas prospects in Burundi and Rwanda where they are undertaking exploration”, said Dr. Mathuki.

Dr. Mathuki said that despite the effects of fluctuating global oil prices, the economies in the region have been able to withstand the shocks, adding that their continued growth is a testimony to the resilience of the regional economy.

“This stability offers long term prospects for returns on investments to potential investors, irrespective of any head winds the global economy may encounter,” said Dr. Mathuki.

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