Controversial project: Uganda approves construction of an oil pipeline through national parks and reserves from Lake Albert to Tanzania to the Indian Ocean.
Uganda has commissioned the country’s first oil drilling rig in the northeast of the country. Ultimately, this was only a matter of time after large oil deposits were discovered a few years ago in north-eastern Uganda, roughly described at Lake Albert, near the border to neighboring Democratic Republic of the Congo. According to initial calculations, up to 225,000 barrels of crude oil per day could be produced here. A massive amount for the East African country. But the problem with this: The north-east of Uganda around Lake Albert is far away from the nearest port.
Approval granted: 1,500-kilometer-long oil pipeline from Lake Albert to Tanzania is being built
An oil pipeline is required so that the extracted oil can be shipped. The nearly 1,500-kilometer pipeline will run south from Lake Albert to Dar es Salaam in Tanzania. The construction of the pipeline has now been officially approved by President Yoweri Museveni. Environmentalists criticize the construction of the pipeline. Because on the way to shipping the oil, the oil pipeline will also run through national parks, reserves and other protected areas in Uganda and Tanzania. Incidentally, Lake Albert borders directly on the well-known Murchison Falls National Park in the northeast and on the Semliki Wildlife Sanctuary in the south.
From an economic point of view, the pipeline and oil production is undoubtedly an important economic factor for Uganda. But who still benefits from the oil production in Uganda and the pipeline? Without question, of course, the French oil company Total. In addition, Tanzania will also earn money in the form of throughput fees and this is expected to continue for as long as the oil continues to flow through the pipeline from Uganda to Tanzania. And of course China is also involved in this major project in the form of the Chinese company CNOOC (China National Offshore Oil Corporation). The centrally managed company CNOOC is 70 percent owned by the People’s Republic of China, is the third largest mineral oil company in the People’s Republic after CNPC and Sinopec and is listed on the Hong Kong and New York stock exchanges.