News / Africa

Uganda President Says Foreigners Sabotaging Oil Sector

Uganda President Yoweri Museveni (File Photo)Uganda President Yoweri Museveni (File Photo)
x
Uganda President Yoweri Museveni (File Photo)
Uganda President Yoweri Museveni (File Photo)
Reuters
Uganda's President Yoweri Museveni, facing donor aid cuts over graft, on Thursday accused unnamed "foreign interests" of sabotaging the oil sector to prevent the country from attaining financial freedom.
 
Uganda struck commercial hydrocarbon deposits in the Albertine rift basin along its border with the Democratic Republic of Congo in 2006 and reserves are estimated at 3.5 billion barrels.
 
Parliament last week passed a law granting the president power to negotiate, grant and revoke oil licences without parliamentary oversight.
 
The vote should help clear the way for a new licensing round for exploration blocks, which has been held up by a standoff between parliament and ministers over this and two other pending oil bills.
 
However, it was criticised by Western oil transparency watchdogs and some legislators for giving too much power to the executive and potentially opening up avenues for corruption.
 
"Those who are desperately opposing this (law) are being financed by foreign interests who have a cause," Museveni told parliament in the east African country.
 
"The saboteurs working on behalf of foreign interests do not want our petroleum programme to succeed because it will lead to financial independence and financial muscle."
 
All major Western donors froze aid to the country of 33 million people after a report by the auditor general showed about $13 million in donor funds had been embezzled by officials in the prime minister's office.
 
The oil law is one of long-delayed three pieces of legislation aimed at guaranteeing transparency, providing a clear management structure and instituting environmental safety mechanisms in the oil sector.
 
Museveni said those opposed to his control of the oil sector were trying to use local agents to protect their interests after his government rejected what he called one of their "schemes".
 
"Recently one of the oil companies in their first field development plan proposed that they recover only 7 percent (crude)," he said, adding that the government had rejected the proposal.
 
He said a recovery rate of 7 percent was unacceptable because it was way below the industry's highest rate of 60 percent.
 
A senior Ministry of Energy official previously told Reuters the government was looking for a crude recovery rate of about 30 percent.
 
Total, Tullow Oil and China's Cnooc, the three leading oil explorers in the country, are awaiting government approval of their field development plans.
 
French oil major Total, which is one of the firms with assets in Uganda, says crude production is likely to commence in 2017 at the earliest.
 

You May Like

EU Court Fines Poland for Hosting CIA 'Black Sites'

Ruling is first time a court has acknowledged suspects were held and tortured at the sites, under US program launched following the 9/11 terrorist attacks More

Migrant Issues Close to Home Spur Groups to Take Action

Groups placing water, food in the desert, or aiding detainees after release, have one common goal: no more deaths of migrants crossing illegally into the US More

Video At AIDS Conference, Prevention Pill Stirs Excitement

Truveda shows promise, spurring debate over access and other approaches More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debatei
X
Shelley Schlender
July 24, 2014 6:43 PM
In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debate

In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Airbus Adds Metal 3D Printed Parts to New Jets

By the end of this year, European aircraft manufacturing consortium Airbus plans to deliver the first of its new, extra-wide-body passenger jets, the A350-XWB. Among other technological innovations, the new plane will also incorporate metal parts made in a 3-D printer. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video Death Toll From Israel-Gaza Conflict Surpasses 700

Gaza officials say a shelling hit a compound housing a United Nations-run school in the Gaza Strip, killing more than a dozen people, during an Israeli offensive in the area. Heavy fighting between the Israeli military and Hamas militants continued on Thursday, pushing up the death toll. So far, more than 730 Palestinians and 35 Israelis have been killed in the conflict. VOA's Scott Bobb has the latest from Jerusalem.
Video

Video AIDS Conference Welcomes Exciting Developments in HIV Treatment, Prevention

Significant strides have been made in recent years toward the treatment and prevention of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. This year, at the International AIDS Conference, the AIDS community welcomed progress on a new pill that may prevent transmission of the deadly virus. VOA’s Anita Powell reports from Melbourne, Australia.
Video

Video Israel Targets Gaza Supply Tunnels

The Israeli military has launched a ground operation in Gaza to destroy the myriad tunnels that may have been used to smuggle weapons to Hamas. VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports that could mean more hardship for the people of Gaza, who obtain some of their essential supplies through these underground passages
Video

Video Researchers Target Low-Cost Avatar Technology

Scientists at the University of Southern California Institute for Creative Technologies say 3-dimensional representations could revolutionize social media. Elizabeth Lee has more from Los Angeles.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.

AppleAndroid