Oil and Gas in Uganda today has been an issue that has of recent captured a lot of people’s attention not only in Uganda but the World at large to some extent.
The history of Oil and Gas in Uganda which i will be talking about in a detailed dimension in some other article on this same website clearly signifies that it is an Industry that has undergone a phenomenological turbulence, however it has worked its way through and once again arising as an Issue of absolute concern.
In response to the issue, a variety of high Institutions of learning have yet established a couple of courses ranging from short Certificates to Masters Degree Programmes all in the bid to produce qualified professionals whom the Petroleum Industry awaits.
Different Petroleum companies have also shown interest in Uganda’s Petroleum some of which have already been licensed by the government. Some yet licensed companies like CNOOC, Tullow and Total have gone further a mile by hiring Service Contractor Companies to do the preliminary work of piping and others.
With such work already in progress, as one may realize, all Petroleum producing countries all set their own oil and Gas Policies which are solely dedicated to the maximization of their Oil and Gas resources.
According to the Government of Uganda Website,
The National Oil and Gas Policy was formulated after a very wide consultation process which involved review of petroleum policies of many oil producing countries, discussions within different institutions of Government, Local Authorities and Cultural Institutions especially those in areas with the potential for petroleum production in the Country, Civil Society and the academia, among others.
The Need for a National Oil and Gas Policy
With the discovery of petroleum in Uganda and the need to ensure that the resource is utilized in a way that will create lasting benefits to the country, the Government found it necessary to put in place a National Oil and Gas Policy to address the entire spectrum of exploration, development, production and utilization of the country’s oil and gas resources more comprehensively than it had been provided for in the Energy Policy of 2002.
The key issues which were identified as having been brought about by the discovery of oil and gas in the country and needed to be addressed in the National oil and gas policy were;
a. Institutional Development
b. Size of Reserves
c. Oil and Gas Revenue Management
d. Impact of Oil and Gas Activities on the environment
e. Contribution of oil and gas resources to the energy mix
f. Investment Promotion
g. National Participation
h. Public Anxiety and Expectations
The guiding principles on which the National oil and gas policy is based include the following;
a. Using finite resources to create lasting benefits to society;
b. Efficient resource management;
c. Transparency and Accountability;
d. Competitiveness and Productivity
e. Protection of the Environment and Biodiversity;
f. Spirit of Cooperation; and
g. Capacity and Institutional Building.
Goal and Objectives of the Policy
The goal of the National Oil and Gas Policy is to “use the country’s oil and gas resources to contribute to early achievement of poverty eradication and create lasting value to society”.
The objectives of the Policy are;
a) To ensure efficiency in licensing areas with potential for oil and gas production in the country.
b) To establish and efficiently manage the country’s oil and gas resource potential.
c) To efficiently produce the country’s oil and gas resources.
d) To promote valuable utilization of the country’s oil and gas resources.
e) To promote the development of suitable transport and storage solutions which give good value to the country’s oil and gas resources.
f) To ensure collection of the right revenues and use them to create lasting value for the entire nation.
g) To ensure optimum national participation in oil and gas activities.
h) To support the development and maintenance of national skills and expertise.
i) To ensure that oil and gas activities are undertaken in a manner that conserves the environment and biodiversity; and
j) To ensure mutually beneficial relationships between all stakeholders in the development of a desirable oil and gas sector for the country.
Strategies and key actions to be taken in order to address these objectives are stipulated in the policy.
With such a Policy therefore, we hope and look forward to the Development of Uganda with respect to the discovered Oil as per the set Oil and Gas Policy.