Uganda grants environmental consent to East African Crude Oil Pipeline

8 Dec 2020

The National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) of Uganda has approved the Environment and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA) for the construction of the 1,445-km East African Crude Oil Pipeline (EACOP) project worth US$3.5bn. Construction is expected to start in 2021. In September 2020, Uganda and Tanzania reached an agreement to build the oil pipeline. In addition, Total has signed an agreement with the Ugandan government on the conditions of entry of the Uganda National Oil Company (UNOC) in the project as well as on the Host Government Agreement (HGA), which will govern the export pipeline project in Uganda. Since 2006, the government of Uganda has also planned to build a 216,000 bbl/d refinery, but the project has been delayed multiple times.

The EACOP project would enable Uganda to export crude oil production from the Lake Albert field, which was discovered in 2006 and is expected to reach a production level of around 230,000 bbl/d at its peak. The pipeline project was initially announced in September 2017 and the stake sales had been under negotiations since January 2007. Because of disagreements with Ugandan authorities, Total suspended the construction of the pipeline in September 2019. In November 2020, Tullow Oil completed the sale of the company's entire interests in Blocks 1, 1A, 2 and 3A in Uganda and of the proposed EACOP system to Total. China’s CNOOC owns a 33.3% stake in the project.

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