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Uganda advancing on oil pipeline developments

Central African country could hold as much as 2.5 billion barrels of oil.

By Daniel J. Graeber
Uganda advancing on oil pipeline developments
Delegates at conference in Uganda reach agreement to build crude oil pipeline east through Tanzania. Uganda's government had pegged economic future to oil developments. Photo by tcly/Shutterstock

KAMPALA, Uganda, April 25 (UPI) -- A statement from the government in Uganda said a decision was made by a regional consortium to build a crude oil pipeline through Tanzania.

Delegates from Burundi, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, South Sudan and Tanzania were hosted by the government of Uganda to review oil transit and refinery developments for the region.

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The U.S. Energy Information Administration said Uganda holds an estimated 2.5 billion barrels of oil reserves. The Ugandan government estimates it could recover about half of that, but if production isn't in full swing by 2018, the Bank of Uganda warned there may be long-term problems for the nation's economy.

A communiqué issued by the Ugandan government said delegates had embraced decisions to build pipelines from Uganda through Kenya and Tanzania to get crude oil to port facilities.

"The summit welcomed Tanzania's decision to invest in the shareholding of the Uganda oil refinery project," the statement read.

The government in 2014 unveiled plans to eventually build a new oil refinery that could produce as much as 60,000 barrels of oil per day.

British exploration company Tullow Oil published a report in 2013 on its Ugandan developments. It said it has uncovered more than 1 billion barrels of oil in Uganda since operations began and most of that was in the country's Lake Albert basin.

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The Bank of Uganda has said there are lingering questions over the nation's oil development given the low price of oil and the investments needed to exploit the type of crude oil found in the country.

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