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Total’s $5-Billion Uganda project set for imminent go-ahead

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The final investment decision on a US$5.1-billion project involving French oil giant Total in Uganda is expected to be announced as soon as on Sunday, Bloomberg quoted Uganda National Oil Company as saying late on Thursday.

The project for tapping more than one billion barrels of crude oil in Uganda and transporting them out of the landlocked African country to an export terminal in neighboring Tanzania has seen several delays in recent years, due to changes in partnership structure and protracted negotiations with the Ugandan government on the deal.

The East-African Crude Oil Pipeline (EACOP) is planned  to be a 1,443-kilometer-long (897 miles) pipeline expected to transport oil from Uganda to the Tanga port in Tanzania. Total’s subsidiary Total East Africa Midstream is the developer of the project, says the French supermajor, which continues to pursue advantaged oil and gas resources in Africa despite ambitions to become a net-zero emissions business in Europe by 2050.

In September 2019, reports had it that all activities on the oil pipeline planned to export crude from Uganda had been suspended following the collapse of a stake acquisition deal in the key Ugandan oil project.

The oil project and pipeline are now on track for an FID at the end of this week, according to Bloomberg.

Tanzania’s new president Samia Hassan Suluhu is expected in Uganda this weekend for talks and for the signing ceremony for the FID on Sunday, Uganda-based outlet Daily Monitor reported, quoting a senior official from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

“Something major is expected to happen this weekend, regarding Uganda’s oil,” Herbert Ssempogo, Senior Corporate Affairs Officer at the Uganda National Oil Company, told Daily Monitor, without elaborating on the details.

Proscovia Nabbanja, CEO of Uganda National Oil Company, told the Energy Year earlier this month that the firm’s “number-one priority for 2021 is to unlock the sector together with government and our partners – achieving the FID will launch EACOP and the upstream project. The projects will also open up a lot of opportunities for investment.”

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