CNOOC buy into Uganda

China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC), the Chinese state-owned oil giant, has secured a $2 billion deal to develop a petroleum field in an effort to turn the east African nation into an oil-producing country. The move continues China’s vast investment in Africa’s oil sector as it look to feed its energy-hungry company.

Peter Lokeris, Uganda’s junior energy minister told the media, that the deal was a “major breakthrough” for Uganda. It was reported that the deal was completed in early September. “It is a milestone towards making us self-sustaining as far as oil and gas production is concerned”, Lokeris added.

Lokeris also confirmed that CNOOC will be responsible for developing the Kingfisher oil field which should be operation in the next four years.

Oil deposits were founded near Uganda’s border with the Democratic Republic of Congo in 2006, and although the country has an estimated 3.5 billion barrels of oil reserves, accessing the oil has proved tricky. If the reserves are tapped, it has the potential to change radically Uganda’s economy: some estimate that it could eventually double the national income.

However, Lokeris is staying realistic. “We expect to produce about 40,000 barrels of oil per day once the Kingfisher well is fully developed and operational”, he said.


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