Libya eyeing Uganda oil, executives say

Jan. 18, 2010 at 11:56 AM
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KAMPALA, Uganda, Jan. 18 (UPI) -- Libyan investors arrived in Uganda to begin negotiations on the development of oil refineries in the east African nation, oil executives said.

Ibrahim Ibrahim, the manager of Oil Libya, told Ugandan newspaper New Vision that negotiations have begun with the government of Uganda.

"We have just started discussions and we hope to progress," he said.

Ibrahim arrived in Uganda during the weekend to explore new energy investment opportunities.

Ali Zwaik, the director in mineral investments for Libya, said Tripoli had interest in the mining sector as well.

Sam Kutesa, the Uganda foreign affairs minister, rejected December allegations that Libyan strongman Moammar Gadhafi was after Ugandan oil.

Libya was linked to a deal with Italian energy company Eni, which was attempting to take Ugandan interests away from Heritage Oil. That deal was upended during the weekend, however, when Tullow Oil announced its decision to pre-empt Eni's bid for Heritage Oil's claims in Uganda.

Tullow announced in September it uncovered 700 million barrels of oil in Uganda in deposits associated with Lake Albert. It added, however, it needed cash to exploit the finds because of declining revenue from North Sea oil production.

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