Uganda official says could pick Tanzania over Kenya for oil pipeline
18 September 2015, 10:47
Nairobi - Uganda's government is still
considering a pipeline through Tanzania to export oil if it
proved cheaper than alternatives, an official said on Wednesday,
even though the Ugandan president indicated last month that a
route through Kenya had been picked.
Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni and Kenya's Uhuru Kenyatta
made a joint call in August to implement a pipeline project via
north Kenya "without further delay", a decision seen as helping
investors to decide on oilfield development in both states.
But France's Total, an investor in Uganda, raised
new uncertainty about that route on Tuesday, saying it was
looking at a possible Tanzanian option.
Asked whether the government was still considering the
Tanzanian route as an alternative to Kenya's Lamu region, senior
Ugandan energy ministry official Robert Kasande told Reuters:
"We've talked about the northern Lamu route. However, in
order to ensure that we have least cost ... we're also looking
at the one that terminates at Tanga in Tanzania."
"We will take the one which is cheaper and if it is the one
to Tanga, we will take the one to Tanga," said Kasande, director
of downstream at the ministry, speaking on the sidelines of an
oil and gas conference in Kampala.
The joint presidential statement on the Lamu route in August
had said Kenya would need to guarantee security, financing and
cheaper fees than other routes, but it had indicated that both
leaders were now committed to that option.
The Kenyan route has raised some industry concerns because
it would run in a region near the border with Somalia, from
where Islamist militants have launched attacks on Kenya before.
Uganda's presidential spokesman and Kenyan energy officials
were not immediately available for comment.
China's CNOOC is also investing in Uganda, while
Britain's Tullow Oil has a stake there and is developing
Kenyan fields with partner Africa Oil.
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