Uganda might have discovered oil reserves years earlier than Kenya, but the country has admitted it has much to learn from Kenya. The two countries have had a joint session to share experiences and ways of maximizing the benefits that come with oil and gas discovery.
The Kenya National Oil Corporation (NOC) was the host as it entertained Uganda Oil Corporation and Kenya Pipeline Company. The three institutions also discussed various ways of collaboration and partnership in line with East African Community integration as both Kenya and Uganda recently discovered oil.
Uganda has proven crude oil reserves of 6.5 billion barrels, about 2.2 billion of which is recoverable. The International Monetary Fund was quoted in 2013 as saying that these reserves are the fourth-largest in sub-Saharan Africa, behind Nigeria, Angola, and South Sudan.
Kenyan reserves are significantly lower although the government is yet to finalise survey on certain oil blocks including the Rift Valley and offshore blocks.
Last month, Kenya Petroleum and Mining Cabinet Secretary John Munyes indicated that Kenya was willing to help Uganda build and complete its oil jetties in Jinja and Entebbe which in return will enhance the viability of Sh1.7 billion Kisumu’s new oil terminal.
The Kisumu oil terminal is expected to increase petroleum supply to landlocked Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi and the Democratic Republic of Congo. However, it has not been used to the maximum as the jetties in Entebbe and Jinja are yet to be complete.
Kenya and Uganda were expected to conduct a joint pipeline to transport crude oil from their respective mining fields to Mombasa for exportation but Uganda pulled out of the deal choosing the Tanzania route.
The two countries plan to create parallel pipelines from Uganda to Tanzania port of Tanga as one will transport Uganda’s crude oil while the other will supply East Africa with gas from Tanzania, which has huge gas reserves as Tanzania plans to be a leader in gas supply in the region in the next years.