With most Ugandans still excited about the prospects of commercially producing oil, the bulk of the country’s viable oil production to start by the end of 2017 as it awaits a pipeline to export crude oil and a refinery to be built, the minister of energy and mineral development Irene Muloni has told Rueters.
Uganda first discovered crude deposits in the Albertine rift basin along its border with Democratic Republic of Congo in 2006.
The discovery could lead to billions of dollars in revenue from expected crude oil exports of 140,000 barrels a day (bpd) and production of about 200,000 bpd, according to the minister, offering a boost for East Africa’s third-largest economy.
Crude extracted will be shared between a thermal power generation plant, a planned refinery and an export pipeline.
While some smaller volumes of oil could be produced from 2016 to generate energy for domestic consumption, the bulk of production will only start the following year, once the refinery and the pipeline are completed, minister Irene Muloni said.
“Everyone is working really hard so that we can have both projects (the refinery and the pipeline) ready by 2017,” Muloni said.
“So we are looking at 2017 as a magical year to make things really happen but should we need it for power generation, we could produce some crude earlier, in 2016.”
(Additional reporting by Elias Biryabarema and Edmund Blair; editing by Jason Neely)