DR Congo in Discussions With Uganda Over Use of Crude Pipelines

DR Congo in Discussions with Uganda Over Use of Crude Pipelines (News Central TV)

According to the DRC’s hydrocarbons ministry, talks have begun with neighbouring Uganda on the possibility of using Uganda’s proposed crude oil pipeline to export petroleum.

The East African Crude Oil Pipeline (EACOP), a $3.5 billion project that would run from oil reserves in Uganda’s Albertine Rift Basin on its western border with the Democratic Republic of the Congo to Tanga, Tanzania’s Indian Ocean seaport, is now being built.

When production in Uganda begins in 2025, the contentious pipeline will be used to transfer the country’s crude to foreign markets.

Late on Tuesday, the DRC Ministry of Hydrocarbons announced on Twitter that its minister, Didier Budimbu, had met with Uganda’s Energy Minister, Ruth Nankabirwa Ssentamu, to discuss access to the pipeline.

“Uganda acknowledged the crucial requirement of DRC to access the East African Crude Oil Pipeline (EACOP) for the transport of crude oil to be produced from the oil exploration blocks located in the Albertine Graben in the Democratic Republic of Congo,” the statement read.

Albertine Graben, an oil-rich basin, is shared between Uganda and the DRC.

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DR Congo in Discussions with Uganda Over Use of Crude Pipelines (News Central TV)
2HMH217 Construction work, Albert Lake, Murchison Falls National Park, Uganda, December 2021. Chinese and French oil giants sealed a landmark $ 10-billion deal to develop Uganda’s energy resources and build a vast regional oil pipeline, a megaproject that has incensed environmental groups. The project aims to exploit the huge crude oil reserves at Lake Albert, a 160-kilometre natural border between Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo. The oil would be pumped from landlocked Uganda through a 1,443-kilometre (900-mile) heated pipeline -– said to become the longest of its type when completed — t

According to the statement, technical teams from both sides would consult and write reports to be given to the two ministers, who would subsequently brief the presidents of the two nations on signing a Memorandum of Understanding.

The talks were verified, and the EACOP was reported to have been created with Uganda’s neighbours, notably the DRC and South Sudan, in mind, according to a representative for the country’s energy ministry in Uganda. Uganda and Tanzania’s neighbours are also hopeful that they will be able to acquire money for a proposed pipeline for exporting petroleum.

Although environmentalists have claimed that the development of some of the blocks would expose ecologically sensitive areas and emit enormous amounts of carbon into the atmosphere, the DRC put 30 oil and gas blocks up for auction last year.

Prominent Ugandan conservationists opposed the EACOP and backed the #StopEACOP campaign to persuade insurers and banks not to fund the project, including Vanessa Nakate and Bill McKibben.

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