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

US Imposes Sanctions on Alleged Honduran Drug Gang

Treasury department alleges Los Valles group is responsible for smuggling tens of thousands of kilograms of cocaine into US each month More

At 91, Marvel Creator Stan Lee Continues to Expand his Universe

Company's chief emeritus hopes to interest new generation of children in superheroes of all shapes and sizes by publishing content across multiple media platforms More

Photogallery New Drug Protects Against Virus in Ebola Family

Study by researchers at University of Texas Medical Branch, Tekmira Pharmaceuticals is first looking at drug's effectiveness after onset of symptoms 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.
Five Patients Given Experimental Ebola Drug Said to Be Improvingi
X
Carol Pearson
August 19, 2014 11:43 PM
The World Health Organization has approved the use of experimental treatments for Ebola patients in West Africa. The Ebola outbreak there is unprecedented, the disease deadly. The number of people who have died from Ebola has surpassed 1,200. VOA's Carol Pearson reports on the ethical considerations of allowing experimental drugs to be used.
Video

Video Five Patients Given Experimental Ebola Drug Said to Be Improving

The World Health Organization has approved the use of experimental treatments for Ebola patients in West Africa. The Ebola outbreak there is unprecedented, the disease deadly. The number of people who have died from Ebola has surpassed 1,200. VOA's Carol Pearson reports on the ethical considerations of allowing experimental drugs to be used.
Video

Video In Ukraine, Fear and Distrust Remain Where Fighting has Stopped

As the Ukrainian military reclaims control of eastern cities from pro-Russian separatists, residents are getting a chance to rebuild their lives. VOA's Gabe Joselow reports from the town of Kramatorsk in Donetsk province, where a sense of fear is still in the air, and distrust of the government in Kyiv still runs deep.
Video

Video China Targets Overseas Assets of Corrupt Officials

As China presses forward with its anti-graft effort, authorities are targeting corrupt officials who have sent family members and assets overseas. The efforts have stirred up a debate at home on exactly how many officials take that route and how likely it is they will be caught. Rebecca Valli has this report.
Video

Video Leading The Fight Against Islamic State, Kurds Question Iraqi Future

Western countries including the United States have begun arming the Kurdish Peshmerga forces in northern Iraq to aid their battle against extremist Sunni militants from the Islamic State. But there are concerns that a heavily-armed Kurdistan Regional Government, or KRG, might seek to declare independence and cause the break-up of the Iraqi state. As Henry Ridgwell reports from London, the KRG says it will only seek greater autonomy from Baghdad.
Video

Video In Rural Kenya, Pressure Builds Against Female Circumcision

In some Kenyan communities, female genital mutilation remains a rite of passage. But activists are pushing back, with education for girls and with threats of punishment those who perform the circumcision. Mohammed Yusuf looks at the practice in the rural eastern community of Tharaka-Nithi.
Video

Video For Obama, Racial Violence is Personal Issue

The racial violence in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson is presenting U.S. President Barack Obama with an issue to which he has a deep personal connection. To many Americans, Obama's election as America's first black president marked a turning point in race relations in the United States, and Obama has made ending the violence a policy priority. On Monday he issued a new call for calm and understanding. Luis Ramirez reports from the White House.
Video

Video Clinton-Obama Relationship Could Impact 2016 Election

President Barack Obama and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton have a long and complicated relationship. That relationship took another turn recently when Clinton criticized the president’s foreign policy. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone reports there is renewed attention on the Clinton-Obama relationship as Hillary Clinton considers running for
Video

Video Iran Looks to Maintain Influence in Baghdad With New Shia PM

Washington and Tehran share the goal of stopping Syrian-based militants in Iraq. But experts say it's Iran, not the United States, that will most influence how the new government in Baghdad approaches internal reforms and the war in Syria. VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns has the story.

AppleAndroid