Hopes for Kenya-Uganda oil pipeline fade as talks continue

Uganda, Tanzania to study crude oil pipeline possibility.

Hopes of Kenya in convincing Uganda over the proposed oil pipeline route continue to diminish as talks aimed at arriving to consensus enter the home stretch.

Uganda was the first country in East Africa to discover commercial viable oil wells in 2006, Kenya then followed with findings in Turkana in 2012.

With these discoveries, the two nations began toying around with the idea of a joint pipeline to the Kenyan coast for refining of the crude oil.

However, in the last one month, these talks have been intensified, especially following a decision by Uganda to ink a deal with neighboring Tanzania.

Through Tanzania, the pipeline route will be between Hoima in Uganda and Tanzania’s port of Tanga while through Kenya it will be from Hoima through Lokichar and landing at the port of Lamu.

But Kenya’s chances of convincing its neighbor to the west to change its mind are fast fading. Sources inform Citizen TV that the nearly ten days of talks in Uganda’s capital of Kampala has seen very little progress.

The Uganda talks follows a directive by President Kenyatta and Museveni for the teams to further engages after a deadlock at a meeting in Nairobi in March.

Total E&P Uganda, is said to be behind the push for the Tanzania route and has gone ahead to firm up its position with a Sh400 billion commitment to the project. It has severally indicated its preference for the Tanga port will not change.

Kenya on the other hand has also noted that it will be going it alone if the talks collapse. The African Development Bank has indicated that it could be willing to help Kenya finance project.

The Kenyan pipeline when complete is expected to transport an estimated 100,000 barrels of crude oil daily.

By Mercy Kandie

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