25 January 2023
Uganda has one of the largest oil reserves in the Saharan desert according to the International Monetary Fund. Oil was discovered in Uganda twenty years back. But the production was delayed due to a lack of funds and infrastructure. With the assistance of China, Uganda is now launching its first oil field in Lake Albert. Extraction is to be done in four phases and the first phase has been launched.
About the Program
The China National Offshore Oil Corporation is to launch the drilling in the lake along with the Uganda National Oil Company. China is investing 10 billion USD in the project. Along with the project, Uganda is also launching a controversial pipeline. The pipeline will connect the oil fields in Lake Albert to the Tanzanian coast for easy transport.
What is the plan?
Under the program, Uganda is planning to produce 230,000 barrels of oil per day.
Oil Resources of Uganda
Uganda has 6.5 billion barrels of oil. Of this 1.4 billion is recoverable.
The drilling project is being launched in Lake Albert, the lake that separates Uganda from Congo. According to environmentalists, the lake supports millions of flora and fauna. There are more than 55 different fish species in the lake. Fishermen in the region depend on the lake for their living. Also, the tribes in the region will be affected due to the project. In all more than thousands of people will be affected. The lake belongs to the river system of the Nile, the longest river in the world. The Lake ecosystem is fragile and drilling projects may affect the lake ecosystem.
China-US Stand Off
So far the USA was the major exploiter of the oil resources of Uganda. Apart from the USA, France also benefited from the oil resources of the country. However, USA’s share was 50% while France’s share was just 10%. Kenya too has a minimal role here. Now, China is entering Uganda with huge plans to counter the