Uganda-Tanzania Oil Pipeline will Henceforth be the East Africa Crude Oil Pipeline, Nations say Talks are progressing

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Uganda and Tanzania announced progress in the negotiations preceding the construction of a Crude Oil Export pipeline from oil-rich Albertine graben to Tanzanian Northeastern port of Tanga.

On the Name and Logo of Pipeline, the nations the “East African Crude Oil Pipeline (EACOP)” as the name of the Uganda – Tanzania Crude Oil Export Pipeline.

“The meeting also endorsed the use of the colours of the East African Community flag in the newly created logo to highlight the project as a regional pipeline. The pipeline is open to other countries in the region to join” reads a joint press statement.

Officials, technocrats and investors are holding a series of close door meetings which targets January 2017 as the project commencement time and 2019/2020 as the completion deadline.

At the second of its kind, held in Uganda’s western District of  hoima, the meeting according to a joint statement considered the Report of the Project Steering Committee on the Crude Oil Pipeline, which focused on four areas including Name and Logo of the Pipeline; Fiscal framework; Size of the pipeline corridor, and; Set of time-bound actions.

The next meetings, which include that of the Joint Pipeline Development Committee (JPDC), Project Steering Committee (PSC) and 3rd Ministerial meeting will be held in Tanga, Tanzania from 24th to 26th October 2016.

Uganda’s Minister of Energy and Mineral Development Irene Muloni told journalist after the meeting that both nations are looking to running the project in fast tracking mode. Oil production in Uganda entirely relies on the export option which in this case is the proposed pipeline.

“Every activity in respect to the project will be done in a fast tracking mode. We have agreed to meet in Tanga (Tanzania) in October this year to launch the front-end-engineering-design for the project,” Muloni  said.

Except for China National Offshore Oil Company (CNOOC), Uganda is yet to issue production licences to the rest of the operators including Tullow and Total.

Tanzania energy Minister Sospeter Muhongo said he had instructions from President John Magufuli to ensure that the project is achieved in the shortest possible time.

“As we partner with Uganda in this project, we wish to assure our Ugandan brothers and sisters that we have the experience in pipeline construction. All our activities will be done in accelerated speed to achieve the project by 2020,”  Muhongo said.

As regards to the Fiscal Framework, both governments said will harmonize the various fiscal packages offered for the pipeline, and these fiscal frameworks will be included in the Inter Government Agreements (IGA).

The meeting agreed that both governments of Uganda and Tanzania, and International Oil Companies (IOCs) should up with the exact size of the pipeline corridor.

On the set of timely-bound actions, the meeting agreed to develop a project schedule and workout modalities to expedite all necessary approvals, including land access, environmental and societal aspects, routing, project agreements and other activities requiring national or Local Government consents.

Present in the Meeting were: Hon. Peter Lokeris the Minister of State for Minerals Uganda; Dr. F.A Kabagambe-Kaliisa the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development Uganda and Prof. Justin Ntalikwa the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Energy and Minerals Tanzania; Mr Xiao Xongwei CNOOC Uganda General Manager; Mr. Adewali Fayemi Total E&P Uganda General Manager; and Jimmy Mugerwa Tullow Uganda Operations General Manager who represented industry partners.