The deliberations were heated. The media was locked out. After more than eight hours behind closed doors, the talks between Ugandan and Tanzania officials regarding the crude export pipeline ended past 9pm on Thursday night.
After the talks, Prof. Sospeter Muhongo, the Tanzanian minister of Energy and Minerals revealed to waiting journalists that an inter-governmental agreement between Uganda and Tanzania will be reached this month regarding the subject.
“The discussion today was fruitful. We are 85% sure that we may come up with an inter-governmental agreement document by the end of this month. We in Tanzania, we have decided that is a strategic project, so we will see to it that by 2020, Uganda’s crude oil will be flowing through Tanga to the international market” he said.
The meeting was attended by ministers of finance and tax chiefs from the two countries, and the oil companies with interests in Uganda.
“We have agreed to fast track everything. We are carrying out several activities so that we are able to catch up with time. We must have this pipeline ready in 2020.”
Irene Muloni, the Minister of Energy and Mineral Development expressed optimism that the pipeline will be done by 2020, the oil production year.
“We thank the government of Tanzania for agreeing to host this pipeline. We need everyone’s support in this venture. Where the pipeline is going to pass, be receptive,” she said.
“For the first oil to come out of the ground, we must have a ready crude export pipeline to access the international market, as well as refinery to add value to our crude oil to get products for our country and region.”
The crude oil export pipeline from the Albertine Graben to Tanga Port in Tanzania is going to be developed. Because Uganda’s oil is waxy in nature, the 1445km long, 24-inch diameter pipeline is going to be the world’s longest heated crude oil pipeline.