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Sunday,August 25,2019 18:13 PM

NEMA clears Tilenga oil project activities

By Geoffrey Mutegeki, Martin Kitubi

Added 17th April 2019 10:19 AM

The exercise has been ongoing since June 2018.

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Board Chairman of National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) Sandy Stevens Tickodri-Togboa and Executive Director of National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) Tom Okurut displaying the Certificate of approval of the Environment and Social Impact Assessment for Tilenga oil project in Albertine region during press conference at NEMA headquarters in Kampala on April 15, 2019. (Photo by Mary Kansiime)

The exercise has been ongoing since June 2018.

OIL AND GAS
 
The National Environmental Management Authority (NEMA) has cleared the development of Tilenga oil project activities by issuing certificates of approval to Total Exploration - the developer of the Tilenga project.
 
On Monday, the NEMA Executive Director Tom Okurut during a press conference at his office in Kampala revealed that they have approved the Environmental and Social Impact Assessment Report (ESIA) after a rigorous exercise that involved even the locals in Bulisa and Nwoya districts.
 
The exercise has been ongoing since June 2018.
 
  oard hairman of ational nvironment anagement uthority  andy tevens ickodriogboa displaying the ertificate of approval of the nvironment and ocial mpact ssessment for ilenga oil project in lbertine region hoto by ary ansiime  Board Chairman of National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) Sandy Stevens Tickodri-Togboa displaying the Certificate of approval of the Environment and Social Impact Assessment for Tilenga oil project in Albertine region. (Photo by Mary Kansiime)

 

 
“By issuing the certificate it is allowing the developer to go ahead with the activities. They can now go and get as much oil as they want but following the guidelines we have issued,” Okurut said.
 
The press conference was attended by NEMA board members but officials from Total never showed up.
 
He explained that the issuance of the certificate is a commitment by the environment authority that they are devoted to protecting the environment.
 
“With this we are saying that the exploration of oil must not damage our environment and after the oil activities we shall continue enjoying the environment as it is,” Okurut said.
 
The oil fields and facilities are in Buliisa and Nwoya districts and also in the Murchison Falls National Park, which is an important biodiversity and tourism area.
 
Nema issued a number of guidelines in the over 30 page certificate that the developer must follow.
 
One of them is pollution where by the developer has been tasked to have an oil spill management strategy in place to ensure no spills and if any must react on time.
 
The developer is also supposed to ensure restoration of the stringing area, remove all debris and waste generated as a result of horizontal drilling from the ramsar site and the Murchison National park.
 
All stringing and horizontal drilling activities are required to be undertaken within six months.
 
Total is also required to obtain a wetland resource user permit before commencement of any activities within the ramsar site.
 
 he ilenga project rea in lbertine region on pril 15 2019 hoto by ary ansiime The Tilenga project Area in Albertine region on April 15, 2019. (Photo by Mary Kansiime)

 

 
According to Sandy Stevens Tickodri-Togboa the NEMA board chairperson, the authority may withdraw or suspend the projects operations if there is non-compliance of any of the specific conditions.
 
“We are sure that they are going to comply because we have involved them from the beginning,” Togboa said.
 
The approval has been issued for a validity of 10 years.
 
The Tilenga project will produce an estimated 190,000 to 200,000 barrels of oil per day when production starts.
 
The Tilenga project covers existing production licenses in Buliisa and Nwoya districts and will host one of the two Central Processing Facilities (CPFs) planned for the Albertine region.
 
The project name Tilenga is a coinage of two local names for the Uganda kob; Engabi in Lunyoro and Til in Luo/Acholi

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