KAMPALA, Uganda, Jan. 22 (UPI) -- The government of Uganda moved a step closer to blocking efforts by Tullow Oil to expand its footprint in the Lake Albert region, official statements suggest.
Tullow executives arrived in the Ugandan capital Friday to discuss efforts to purchase Heritage Oil's assets in the oil-rich Lake Albert region.
Tullow owns assets in the Lake Albert region and the acquisition would give it full ownership of lucrative oil fields. Tullow executives maintain they have "no intention" of monopolizing the Ugandan oil industry, though government officials said they would veto the measure "if the need arises," The Wall Street Journal reports.
Uganda is said to favor an effort by Italy's Eni to take over the Heritage assets in Lake Albert for what the Journal describes as strategic concerns. Eni has no presence in Uganda currently.
Tullow announced Friday major finds in the Lake Albert region as the debate lingers. Tullow executives said they would discuss potential partners for development of the fields, though any plans require government approval.
Heritage in December agreed to sell its assets to Eni, though Tullow has the right to pre-empt the deal.