TotalEnergies and project partner China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC) have announced the Final Investment Decision (FID) for the Lake Albert Development project in Uganda, ushering in a new era of enhanced energy security in East Africa. At a total investment of approximately $10 billion, the FID follows a deal signed with the Ugandan and Tanzanian governments.
Following the discovery of crude oil reserves in the Lake Albert Rift Basin in 2006 and 2009 by Tullow Oil, as well as the considerable efforts made by Heritage Oil Plc. to open up the Albert and Kingfisher assets, Uganda has been focused on developing domestic production capacity in the country. In 2020, Tullow sold its assets to TotalEnergies, with the French based major now working in collaboration with the CNOOC to grow the entire energy value chain.
Now, with the Lake Albert Development, the project developments will be instrumental in positioning both Uganda and Tanzania as competitive hydrocarbon markets. Comprising the Tilenga and Kingfisher upstream projects – which are set to start producing 190,000 and 40,000 barrels per day (bpd) in 2025, respectively – as well as the construction of the East African Crude Oil Pipeline (EACOP), the development will enable Uganda to fully monetize its 1.4 billion barrels of recoverable oil resources while providing export opportunities through Tanzania. Representing a 1,443km, 216,000 bpd export pipeline, the EACOP will connect landlocked Uganda with international markets, bringing in critical foreign expenditure for the country.
“The development of Lake Albert resources is a major project for Uganda and Tanzania, and our ambition is to make it an exemplary project in terms of shared prosperity and sustainable development. We are fully aware of the important social and environmental challenges it represents. We will pay particular attention to use local skills, to develop them through training programs, to boost the local industrial sector in order to maximize the positive local return of this project,” stated Patrick Pouyanné, chairman and CEO of TotalEnergies in a Press Release issued by the company.
With Uganda representing one of Africa’s most lucrative emerging markets, the FID marks a milestone in the country’s ambition to become a crude oil producer and exporter. Backed by a committed national oil company, the Ugandan National Oil Company (UNOC), the country is poised to undergo significant energy and economic growth.
During African Energy Week (AEW) 2021, Uganda made a strong play for investment, with a strong delegation of industry leaders driving discussions on the role the country’s oil reserves will play in Africa’s energy future. Despite representing a relatively new hydrocarbon sector, Uganda is eager to join the heavyweights, and the FID on the Lake Albert project demonstrates this. Under the leadership of H.E. President Yoweri Museveni, Uganda has placed exploration and production at the forefront of its national development agenda, recognizing the role oil plays in addressing energy poverty and security. Building on discussions held at AEW 2021, Uganda will have the spotlight at AEW 2022 – taking place in Cape Town on the 18th-21st of October 2022 – with public and private sector executives leading east African dialogue.
Extending on oil and gas narratives that were focused on during AEW 2021, the 2022 edition of the event will further the discussion on hydrocarbon exploration and production and the value of cross-border partnerships. The EACOP is a notable example of how African countries can and should collaborate, serving as a model for other regions looking to develop intra-African infrastructure projects. As Africa pursues accelerated energy sector growth, AEW 2022 has placed an emphasis on integration and cooperation.