Government set to sell off 45,000 barrels of crude oil

Friday November 1 2019

The crude oil is stored in dozens of bitutainers

The crude oil is stored in dozens of bitutainers  

By Christine Kasemiire

Government is set to sell off 45,000 barrels of crude oil that were recovered during the testing stages of oil production in the oil-rich Albertine Region.

The crude oil is stored in specialised containers at four sites; Kasemene 1, Ngara-1, Ngiri-2 in Buliisa, and at Tangi Camp in Nwoya District.

According to Mr Ibrahim Kasita, the corporate affairs manager of the Uganda National Oil Company (Unoc), government decided to monetise the crude  instead of burning it.

“We embarked on searching for a buyer. We advertised and got prospective buyers,” he said.

He, however, declined to reveal the buyers.

Mr Kasita also declined to announce the mode of transportation of the crude oil as well as its monetary value; saying the Minister of Energy and Mineral Development, Ms Irene Muloni, will reveal the details.

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 The crude oil, UNOC says, can be transformed into heavy fuel oil that can be used in the production of thermal electricity.

Uganda which discovered oil more than 10 years ago, has not started commercial oil production.

The country has a capacity to produce 6 billion barrels of crude oil with 1.4 billion barrels recoverable.

There have been previous attempts since 2012, to dispose of the crude oil, although they were not successful.

In 2018, the auditor general the faulted Unoc over its failure to dispose of the crude oil, which has been lying idle in storage tanks.

Unoc is tasked with managing and marketing the country’s share of petroleum received in kind, in addition to other responsibilities as per the Petroleum Act, 2013.

The body was incorporated in 2015 under the Companies Act by the Uganda Registration Services Bureau as a private company wholly owned by the government through the ministries of energy and finance.

If the sale materialises this time around, it will be Unoc’s first major undertaking in Uganda’s oil sector.

editorial@ug.nationmedia.com

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