Earth Finds

Earth Finds

Oil And Gas Activities Call For More Environmental Protection

By Sandra Atusinguza

Recently Uganda joined the world to celebrate the Environment day in Mbale district under the theme “Beat plastic pollution” with focus on alternatives to avoidable single use of polythene bags known as ‘Buvera’ which has become a menace to the environment .

This is a great milestone to environmental conservation once achieved, the rate at which our environment is polluted is very high with increased industrialization and poor waste disposal of garbage and plastics which end up in water channels, trenches, wet lands as they have currently been known as “waste lands” in most towns country wide among other factors. This calls for countrywide mass sensitizations on usage and disposal. There have been efforts to ban plastic bag use or recycle it for the past 4years but it has not been fully achieved to date hence environment at stake.

Previous reports also indicate poor waste management and disposal of oil and gas waste in the Albertine graben where at Ngara1 site which was managed by Tullow oil, the solid waste was heaped on the ground and covered with black polythene material while the liquid waste was kept in large pits lined on the sides with black polythene, some other pits were covered with iron sheets, and other open hence raising fears of possible air pollution a potential health risks to residents.

Communities especially in Buliisa district have also expressed fears of the oil and gas hazardous waste could damage the environment in case of spills along the way as it is transported to the dumping and waste management sites. In 2009, Heritage Oil illegally buried truckloads of oil waste in Nwoya county, in the then Amuru district, little did the country know that it was the beginning of a bigger ‘oil waste management crisis’. Five years later, the oil frontline districts of Buliisa and Nwoya continue to witness other incidents of oil waste dumping.

To add on that, with the current production phase with many development infrastructures set like the oil pipelines, C.P.F, critical oil roads among other developments, areas where oil and gas activities are taking places could be affected by climate change due to emissions from waste causing soil and air pollution thus lowering the quality of air, acidic rains due to the presence of carbon monoxide, nitric oxide and sulfur oxide which pollute

Despite governments’ effort through NEMA to authorizing petroleum waste management firms like Enviro serve, White Nile and Luwero industries and enacting environmental and bio diversity tools like Albertine graben environmental sensitive atlas, Environmental monitoring plan for the Albertine graben, among other actions several laws must be strict enough on waste management and pollution with incentives and penalties based on enforcement of legislation, polices to discourage bad practices on environment in the oil and gas sector. More community awareness and sensitizations efforts need on oil and environment so as to enable them hold duty bearers and key stakeholders in the oil and gas industry accountable.

Atusinguza Sandra - AFIEGO –FIELD OFFICER

 

Victoria University To Start digital marketing After Digicon Academy Deal

Victoria University Uganda will cooperate to start courses teaching digital marketing at the Jinja Road based University. This development comes after the two academic organizations concurred and signed a memorandum of understanding to help them actualize their ambition.

“We have partnered with Victoria University Kampala Uganda to launch a series of co-branded courses in digital marketing. The partnership will initially start with a fast track course in Social Media Marketing,” Digicon Academy announced shortly after inking the deal.

“It’s never been more important for marketers to understand digital. We believe that digital should be a fundamental part of any marketing today. Through our partnership with Victoria University we will help more marketers develop and sharpen their knowledge and skills in digital.” Digicon said.

Victoria University said understanding digital marketing skills will empower the business community and individual. In a recent interview with this website, the dean faculty of business and management Dr Omotayo said the university was considering introducing various marketing courses because it’s a key component of doing business.

According to Aaron Musoke the digital trainer at Digicon Academy, the MoU between the two entities will grow the capacity of trainees and create more employment opportunities as the job market has expanded from an offline office setting to digital space.

Mr. Musoke further explained that Victoria University and Digicon academy will be launching a digital course that will bolster training and grow business and individual growth, these courses will be held Victoria University.

Tullow Oil In New Tax Dispute With URA

Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) is locked in a fresh row with Tullow Oil over Capital Gains tax liability on the $900m (Shs3.4 trillion) sale of the latter’s assets to France’s Total E&P and China’s Cnooc.

Capital Gains Tax (CGT) is a levy charged on the profit when an asset is sold upon appreciation of its worth. The latest contest, sources said, is essentially about the structure of payment of the tax on the $900m sale.

Sources intimated that Tullow is protesting payment of the CGT in a lump-sum but rather wants to pay in instalments over time. On the other hand, URA wants the payment in one lump for the “deemed sale”.

The transaction in contest is Tullow’s transfer of 21.57 per cent of its assets to Total E&P and Cnooc respectively. In January last year, Tullow sold 21.57 per cent of its interests in each of the three exploration areas to Total E&P for $900m (about Shs3.2 trillion).

The total consideration was structured in two ways; $200 million (Shs722b) in cash consisting of $100m (about Shs361b) upon completion of the transaction and $50m (Shs180b) at both Final Investment Decision and First Oil.

Later, $700m (about Shs2 trillion) would be in deferred consideration which will be used by Tullow to fund the company’s share of the costs on the upstream development project and the associated export pipeline project.

In March last year, Cnooc invoked its preemptive rights, a key clause in the Joint Venture agreement, to acquire half of the shares floated to Total E&P which sparked protracted haggling.

The URA commissioner for public and corporate affairs, Mr Vincent Seruma, said discussions on the matter are ongoing, but declined to give further details. Tullow general manager Jimmy Mugerwa said: “Everyone has a view, but we are continuing the discussions.”

Total E&P’s Africa director for Corporate Affairs Ahlem Friga and Cnooc’s senior public relations supervisor Aminah Bukenya confirmed the discussions on the matter, but he too did not give further details.

Tax delaying deal approval

However, sources in Energy said the contest over CGT is hindering approval of the transaction by government. The first hindrance, which has since been sorted, was operatorship of the lucrative oil fields in EA2—which was won by Total E&P.

SOURCE: Daily Monitor

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