Uganda’s Tilenga and Kingfisher petroleum projects, along with a pipeline to transport their oil to Tanzania for export, are progressing smoothly and are expected to commence production by 2025, according to Proscovia Nabbanja, the CEO of Uganda National Oil Co.
Nabbanja stated that the Tilenga project is on track, with three drilling kits already in the country. “We’ve seen the three drilling kits being brought into the country. Equally, Kingfisher is also on track. Three wells drilled so far on Kingfisher. For Tilenga, four wells,” she said.
The East African Crude Oil Pipeline (EACOP), spanning 1,445 kilometers (898 miles) and designed to transport crude oil from Tilenga and Kingfisher, is also scheduled to become operational in 2025. Nabbanja revealed this information during an interview, which took place in Abu Dhabi.
The EACOP is jointly owned by the Ugandan government, France’s TotalEnergies, China’s CNOOC, and Tanzania Petroleum Development Corp.
To provide credits for the project, Uganda is currently engaged in advanced talks with SINOSURE, a Chinese export credit agency. The project will cost $5 billion, including the cost of credit, and 40% of the money will be raised through debt while the rest will come from equity.
“We still believe we should be able to pull off the financing we require across the different projects,” said Nabbanja noting that the financing pool for oil and gas projects has been reduced due to concerns about climate change.
Five activist groups in June sued TotalEnergies for a second time over Tilenga and EACOP in a Paris civil court, accusing the oil major of failing to protect people and the environment.
Nabbanja said she could not comment on the suit but said TotalEnergies had been “a prudent operator”.
She said the project’s co-owners had taken account of environmental considerations from the start of planning.
“So, I feel it’s a little bit unfair for the pushback across the project because I think all partners are aligned and the two governments, Tanzania and Uganda, are aligned because we are there and we see the fundamental change the projects have made in the communities even before the first drop of oil comes on,” she stated to Reuters.