By Ibrahim E. Kasita
ENTEBBE, UGANDA, 2ND FEBRUARY 2019 –The Uganda National Oil Company Limited (UNOC) in collaboration with the Ministry of Energy & Mineral Development and the Petroleum Authority of Uganda (PAU) organized a two-day workshop for Members of Parliament.
The main purpose of the workshop, which was held on 1st and 2nd February 2019 at Lake Victoria Serena in Entebbe, was to update the legislators on the developments in the Oil and Gas sector in Uganda.
As the country gears towards First Oil, many developments are taking place in the sector. This include the granting of Production Licenses to the oil companies, successful completion of the first competitive licensing round, which resulted in the issuance of three exploration licenses.
The Country also signed an Intergovernmental Agreement with the government of the United Republic of Tanzania for the development of the East African Crude Oil Pipeline (EACOP) and a Project Framework Agreement for the development of refinery with the Albertine Graben Refinery Consortium.
Therefore, Members of Parliament as key stakeholders need to be updated on these developments and the need to share information on the status of the progress in the sector and address challenges of policy, legal, regulatory and institutional reforms call for the continuous involvement of Parliament.
The Minister of Energy and Mineral Development, Hon. Eng. Irene Muloni, welcomed all members present in their respective capacities and thanked them for honoring the Ministry’s invitation to attend the Workshop.
She particularly expressed gratitude to the Rt. Hon. Speaker of Parliament, Honorable Ministers present and Members of Parliament for creating time to attend the Workshop.
The Minister stated that the sector requires support from all arms of the Government in order to successfully perform its mandate.
She acknowledged that there is a need to share information with the relevant stakeholders and provide a comprehensive update on the on-going activities and planned projects within the oil and gas sector.
The Minister informed members that the specific objectives of this Workshop were to: (i) provide an overview of the status of the Upstream and Midstream Petroleum Sectors and (ii) establish a good understanding of the roles of the Directorate of Petroleum in the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development, the Petroleum Authority of Uganda and that of the Uganda National Oil Company.
The Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development Mr. Robert Kasande showcased the policy, legal and regulatory framework of the sector, the petroleum prospective areas in the Albertine graben and the petroleum potential in new basins, the status of upstream licensing, the commercialization plan, the status of the land acquisition, the timelines of EACOP project, First Oil, the other regional initiatives, other sector achievements and the challenges faced by the sector.
The UNOC presenters including Chief Operating Officer – Upstream Ms. Proscovia Nabbanja, the General Manager Uganda Refinery Holding Company Limited (URHC) Dr. Michael Mugerwa and the General Manager National Pipeline Company (NPC) Mr. John Bosco Habumugisha highlighted UNOC’s role in performing the State’s commercial participation in the sector.
They gave an overview of UNOC and its mandate, UNOC’s Strategy, its upstream role, the mandate and projects under the NPC and the URHC and the opportunities open to UNOC and challenges that it faces in conducting its mandate.
The Executive Director of the Petroleum Authority of Uganda (PAU) Mr. Ernest Rubondo highlighted the approach to regulating the oil and gas sector being undertaken, key regulatory areas that include: resource assessment, work programme and budget approval, monitoring approved work programmes, data management, health, safety, security, social and environment management, national content and stakeholder engagement plus the challenges and risks that the Authority faces.
Members agreed to support the increase of funding for the three institutions – UNOC, MEMD and PAU given the fact that resources are needed to take the sector forward.
The chairperson of the Natural Resources Committee of Parliament thanked the Members of Parliament for attending the Workshop and thanked the organizers for arranging the Workshop.
He the MEMD, UNOC and PAU to fulfill the promises and commitments made regarding the petroleum sector, adding that informed members that Parliament add value to the work in the oil and gas sector.
Other relevant government institutions such as National Environment Management Authority (NEMA), Uganda National Roads Authority (UNRA), Office of the Auditor General (OAG) and Ministry of Works and Transport (MoWT) made presentations related to the oil and gas sector. Ends…/