Minister urges bishops to support oil sector
KABAL 30e May 2022: Hon. Dr Ruth Nankabirwa Ssentamu has urged the Church of Uganda House of Bishops to support the development of Uganda’s oil and gas sector, given the significant positive impact it has and will continue to have on Uganda .
She made the call during a meeting with the House of Bishops, presided over by His Grace the Most Reverend Dr. Samuel S. Kaziimba Mugalu, the Archbishop of the Church of Uganda, held on 30e May 2022 on Bushara Island in Kabale District.
“The oil and gas sector can enhance Uganda’s economic and social development by providing access to affordable energy (electricity access is 60% in urban areas and around 18% in rural areas). rural areas), decent job opportunities, business and skills development, increased tax revenue and improved infrastructure,” she noted.
In his opening remarks, His Grace Dr. Kaziimba Mugalu quoted Psalm 21 which emphasizes that God has entrusted the earth and all in it to his people as Lords.
“It calls us to be good stewards and stewardship of God-given earthly riches.
As a church, we need to provide the necessary oversight and guidance, and that’s why we need this knowledge. Without knowledge, people perish,” the Archbishop said.
In her presentation to the clergy, the Minister stressed that the implementation of oil and gas projects in Uganda, especially the establishment of infrastructure, presents huge opportunities to accelerate the development of the country through, among others, the participation of Ugandans and Ugandan companies. in providing the required goods and services.
“Key areas of focus in advancing national content include employment of Ugandans, skills development and capacity building, enterprise development, use of locally produced goods and services as well as knowledge transfer and technology,” added the minister.
On the issue of continued negative campaigns by some climate activists, the Minister said that those campaigning against the East African Crude Oil Pipeline (EACOP) are against the development of Uganda. She said these were deliberate misrepresentations of facts related to environmental protection and human rights.
Mr. Ernest Rubondo, Executive Director of the Petroleum Authority of Uganda reassured the clergy on the progress of land acquisition, allaying fears of delay in compensation.
“The land acquisition process provides for a 30% disturbance allowance and now an additional payment of 15% per annum, in addition to the approved compensation to deal with delays. All those affected will be compensated by the end of 2022,” Rubondo said.
He said, “The Project Affected Persons (PAPs) have been compensated or resettled and are undertaking livelihood restoration projects in agriculture, financial education, vocational skills, among others. No land will be used by the projects before the conclusion of the compensation processes”.
Bishop Nathan Ahimbisibwe of Ankole South Diocese has appreciated the efforts undertaken by the government to develop Uganda’s oil and gas sector. He said that “if this treasure is well managed, Uganda will experience socio-economic progress”.
The church leaders urged the government to ensure that the benefits are seen by local communities through affirmative action, but also to ensure that Uganda as a country benefits from the oil sector and gas.
They responded to their support for the project given the information shared and urged the government to continue sensitizing Ugandans, including local government leaders.
Uganda’s oil and gas industry has progressed from the early period of exploration, the discovery of commercial petroleum reserves and now the ongoing development phase which involves the establishment of the necessary infrastructure to produce and market the petroleum resources of Uganda. The launch of the projects in April 2021 and the announcement of the final investment decision in February 2022 triggered a three-year period of intense infrastructure development in preparation for first oil in 2025.
PROGRESS OF CURRENT PROJECTS
Site preparation works at the Tilenga Industrial Zone have progressed and are currently at a 60% completion rate.
The Industrial Zone will host the main surface facilities of Tilenga which include Central Processing Facility (CPF), Construction Support Base (CSB), Drilling Support Base (DSB), Construction Camp (CC ) and the Operator Support Base (OSB).
MotaEngil has been contracted by TotalEnergies E&P Uganda to undertake the site preparations. The scope of work includes clearing, grading, compacting, drainage, fencing among others.
To meet the national content requirements, MotaEngil has employed over 300 Ugandans with only 24 non-Ugandans and is working with different Ugandan contractors including Prand Engineering Ltd, Civtec, Pearl Engineering among others to perform different tasks of the contract for site preparation.
The Kingfisher Development Project (KFD)
Construction work on KFD has commenced following the award of Supply Contract (PC) 1 to Excel Construction Ltd, a Ugandan company.
Site preparation civil works on the Kingfisher 1, 2 and 3 well pads, in preparation for development drilling, are scheduled to begin in December 2022.
Excel Construction Ltd’s scope of work includes grading, compacting, drainage, fencing and construction of access roads to the land.
March 7e, 2022, a total of eighty-six (86) 24-inch conductor tubes have been delivered to the well platforms. Installing these conductive pipes requires welding the pipes together before they are driven into the ground.
This was done by a group of welders trained in Uganda who benefited from the various training interventions in the country. Site preparation works currently stand at 10.10% against 10.34% planned.