Uganda has picked Tanzania to build a pipeline for its oil instead of Kenya.
This was confirmed during a meeting of the 13th Northern Corridor Integration Projects Summit which kicked off in Kampala on Thursday, in which countries of the East African Community bloc were represented.
Last year, the land locked east African country which discovered oil in some parts of its western region, had said it would pick Kenya for the construction of the pipeline, linking its fields to Kenya oil discoveries in the Lokichar basin in northern Kenya and Lamu in the coastal region.
While we have always believed that a joint Uganda-Kenya export pipeline was the most cost-effective option, we are clear that both Uganda and Kenya's oil resources can be developed separately.
But in March this year, Uganda backtracked on the decision and even suspended on making a final decision after a meeting between President Yoweri Museveni and his Kenyan counterpart, Uhuru Kenyatta.
A joint communique released on Saturday said, “The summit agreed that two crude oil pipelines, one from Lokichar to Lamu and another from Hoima to Tanga, will be developed by Kenya and Uganda respectively.”
After the summit, Uganda’s president added, “There is no more paralysis on that matter, we are moving.”
However, Kenyan officials said that Kenya decided to abandon negotiations with Uganda for the pipeline project because the talks dragged on for long and had paralysed preparations for the construction of Kenya’s oil pipeline.
Oil company Total, which is among the firms developing Uganda’s crude oil fields had earlier raised security concerns about the Kenyan pipeline route, which could at some points run near Somalia where militants have previously launched attacks on Kenya.
Britain’s Tullow Oil, which has stakes in both countries, however backed the Kenyan route, saying it would be cheaper if oil from both pipelines followed the same route.
In a statement, the firm said, “While we have always believed that a joint Uganda-Kenya export pipeline was the most cost-effective option, we are clear that both Uganda and Kenya’s oil resources can be developed separately.”
Uganda has about 6.5 billion barrels of oil in the Lake Albert Basin, while Kenya has 600 million in the Turkana basin.