DRC conflict no threat to Ugandan oil

Aug. 6, 2012 at 8:07 AM

KAMPALA, Uganda, Aug. 6 (UPI) -- Executives from oil companies working in Uganda aren't concerned about the rebellion in neighboring Democratic Republic of Congo, an official said.

U.N. officials expressed concern about the humanitarian situation in DRC. Mutiny in DRC in April was led by rebel Gen. Bosco Ntaganda, the subject of two arrest warrants by the International Criminal Court.

Ugandan Foreign Affairs Minister Okello Oryem told the Platts news service the conflict isn't deterring oil development in his country.

"I have spoken to Tullow Oil, Total and China National Offshore Oil Corp. and they are not scared of what is happening on the other side of the Congolese border," he said.

Uganda is eager to exploit resources tied to the Lake Albert region, which holds as much as 2.5 billion barrels of oil. Oryem said the Uganda military was prepared to defend the nation's oil installations should DRC conflict spill over the border.

Tullow said it expected to start developing Ugandan oil fields within three years. Oryem told Platts Uganda had "a neutral stand in this conflict" and was ready to work with DRC on pipeline installations for eventual oil exports.

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