Africabeat template: Africabeat: Oil Discovered in Uganda

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Oil Discovered in Uganda

A news wire reports that Australian oil company Hardman Resources Limited has found oil in the Hoima district of Uganda, making it the first proven oil reserves in the country. It is not known how much oil there is or whether there is commercial potential.

The article further reported:
Local politician George Tinkamanyire said the discovery was a significant landmark in the country's efforts to improve its economy.

"The moment we start mining our oil, poverty will be greatly reduced," he said.

Mr. Tinkamanyire's appraisal of the positive relationship between oil and wealth is at best too optimistic. If current history is any indication, it is quite likely the inverse.

Hoima is in the West of the country, on the edge of Lake Albert (bordering the Congo) and is one of the more prosperous districts in Uganda.

Related News Articles:

Australia's Hardman Discovers Oil in Uganda"

"Tullow Oil shares lifted by Uganda well hopes" (Reuters, January 16, 2006)

"Hardman Discovers Oil in Uganda" Australian Financial Review January 18, 2006


Information about exploratory drilling in Uganda from Hardman's website


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Blogger Black River Eagle said...

The claim that this is the 1st proven oil reserves found in Uganda is a bit misleading in that it is well known that the Albertine Rift (West Rift Valley) has huge reserves of oil and natural gas (and gold and diamonds, etc.). The Albertine rift is a very large cross-border region in the African Great Lakes region including the countries of Uganda, D.R. Congo, Rwanda, Burundi, and Tanzania. It is one of the most biologically diverse and ecologically precious regions of the African continent, if not of the whole planet.

The Alberta, Canada based Heritage Oil and Gas Ltd. has been busy buying up property and drilling rights from the D.R.C. and Uganda since 1997, and according to an April 2003 article by African journalist Kofi Arkosah-Sarpong Heritage Oil hit paydirt in Uganda at their holdings after 4 years of seismic mapping and drilling. According to Heritage's Uganda manager their data showed oil and gas reserves estimated in the several billions of barrels (boe).

This area of Uganda which borders the D.R.C has been "Hot" for over a decade due to cross-border conflicts (The Congo Wars, general banditry and militia activity) and is at the center of rampid mineral resource exploitation as described in serveral U.N. reports and those of international groups i.e. Human Rights Watch. In addition it has been alleged that Heritage Oil and Gas via its subsidiaries and agents has been linked to illegal mercenary and other unsavory activities in the region and other parts of Africa. Reference Google search terms: Heritage Oil, Tony Buckingham, Tim Spicer, Uganda Africa Energy Corporation, Africa Energy Corporation.

Sorry to write such a long comment but I thought it was important to point this stuff out to you and your readers. My question is, who are the Australians (Hardman Resources Ltd.) working with down there and do they have a better record and image than Heritage Oil & Gas Ltd.?

5:00 AM  
Blogger jenbrea said...

Black River Eagle, I really appreciate you taking the time to write such an extensive post on this subject. You clearly know a lot!

It seems I misconstrued the newswire reports. I know nothing about oil drilling and mainly wanted to repost the article because it seemed interesting/newsworthy.

Perhaps you can explain what it means to find a "working petroleum system" in a specific location and why it is significant as compared to say, having a knowledge that there is approximately X amount of oil in a given region (e.g., the Albertine Rift, Lake Albert)?

Thank you again for your post!

5:12 PM  
Blogger Black River Eagle said...

Dear Jennifer,

I like yourself know NOTHING about drilling for oil! Perhaps the folks down at Hardman Resources Ltd. or over at Heritage Oil & Gas Ltd. can help us out on this? That is, if they would even talk with bloggers.

I think what is important with the discovery and development of oil and gas reserves in Uganda and the D.R. Congo is that all parties (business and government) adhere to transparency initiatives such as the Publish What You Pay campaign or the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) AND that revenues earned from the sale of oil and gas goes to help alleviate the myriad of problems faced by the citizens of these nations. In the case of Uganda and the D.R.C. and some of their business partners in the Extractive Industries (mining, oil, gas, timber) that is very doubtful.

Here is a link to the Publish What You Pay site in case you haven't checked it out yet:

AfricaFocus has a pretty good roundup article on this subject in their January 16, 2004 bulletin "Africa: Oil and Transparency"

Global Witness, The World Bank and the IMF, George Soros Foundation Networks( and the Open Society Institute (OSI) all have loads of info on this subject. Again, sorry for taking up so much space. I'm gone (for now).

6:24 AM  

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