Total Uganda (Total), part of France-based oil and gas exploration and production multinational, has recently announced that it is evaluating Tanzania for the construction of a pipeline to transport Ugandan oil to the Indian Ocean.
The pipeline would go from the western city of Hoima, Uganda to Tanga’s port in the Tanzania’s northern coastal region.
The announcement was done by Total Corporate Affairs Manager, Ms. Ahlem Friga Noy, when speaking at the Uganda International Oil and Gas Summit (UIOGS) that took place in Kampala, Uganda’s capital.
Noy, explained that the company is supporting the undertaking of a feasibility study on the Tanga route since the initial one through Lamu, in Kenya’s coastal region have recently raised some security concerns.
According to Bloomberg, the initial pipeline proposed by the Ugandan and Kenyan Governments would have represented a total investment of USD 4.5 billion and had a total extension of 1,500 km going from Hoima through Lokichar in Kenya’s border region with Somalia, to finally reach Lamu.
However, due to the recent attacks that Islamist militants have launched from Somalia to Kenya, Total together with its partners the British Tullow Oil Plc and the Chinese Cnooc are proposing the Ugandan Government to turn to Tanzania instead of Kenya to export its oil reserves estimated in 6.5 billion barrels according to Bloomberg.
Tanzania’s President Jakaya Kikwete, expressed its support to develop the pipeline from Hoima to Tanga because it would go in line with upgrading works that have started at Tanga’s port to improve its offload capacity.
According to Uganda’s Energy Ministry Director of Downstream Robert Kasande, Uganda is still considering the development of the pipeline through Tanzania if it offers cheaper alternatives than the route through Kenya.
According to Bloomberg, Uganda has also agreed on developing the reverse-flow pipeline which represents an option to Tanzania for transporting its imported refined petroleum that currently totals USD 2.94 billion and represents 25.47% of the country’s total imports.