By Spy Uganda
Kampala: Uganda will delay the long-awaited launch of its $3.5-billion oil export pipeline through Tanzania until next month following the death of Tanzania’s President John Magufuli, Uganda’s oil regulator said Tuesday.
The launch of the 900-mile project, along with the commencement of work on oil fields operated by Total SE, was originally meant to take place on March 22 but will now remain on hold until April as Uganda joins Tanzania to mourn Mr. Magufuli, the Uganda Petroleum Authority said.
The EACOP is a 1,443km, 24-inch diameter heated and buried crude oil pipeline that will start from Kabaale, Hoima in Uganda to Chongoleani, Tanga in Tanzania. The pipeline will have a manifold in Kabaale, Hoima, six (06) pumping stations (two (02) of which will be located in Uganda), 27 heating stations and two (02) pressure reduction stations.
Uganda discovered oil around its western border more than a decade ago, but the commercialization of vast crude reserves, estimated to contain as much as 6 billion barrels of crude, has dragged on due to a number of disruptions.
In line with the MoU on the commercialization of the discovered petroleum resources in Uganda, feasibility studies on the development of a Crude Oil Export Pipeline from the Albertine Graben in Uganda to the East African Coast were undertaken with a view to selecting the least cost route for transporting Uganda’s crude oil to the coast. The Hoima (Uganda) – Tanga (Tanzania) route was selected as more secure, at a cheaper cost and therefore, a lower tariff.
The development of this pipeline is being led by the licensed upstream oil companies in Uganda, with participating interests by the Governments of Uganda and Tanzania.