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Cablegate: More Oil Finds in Western Uganda

R 080725Z AUG 08
FM AMEMBASSY KAMPALA
TO SECSTATE WASHDC 0599
INFO IGAD COLLECTIVE
RWANDA COLLECTIVE
DEPT OF ENERGY WASHINGTON DC

UNCLAS KAMPALA 001100


E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: EPET ENRG EAID PGOV UG
SUBJECT: MORE OIL FINDS IN WESTERN UGANDA

REF: A) KAMPALA 413, B) KAMPALA 393, C) KAMPALA 247


1. Tullow Oil, one of four oil exploration companies operating in
western Uganda, has uncovered a large field of oil and gas deposits
in exploration Block Two, which runs along the upper half of Lake
Albert (refs A and B). Ministry of Energy Petroleum Exploration and
Production Department (PEPD) Commissioner Reuben Kashambuzi was
elated as he told Econoff August 7 that this was the best discovery
in Uganda to date. The daily press reported that the result proved
that the Albertine Graben, a resource and ecologically sensitive
region running through western Uganda and eastern Democratic
Republic of Congo, was a very promising oil field. (Note: A
"graben" refers to a depressed segment of earth surrounded by two
raised faults. End note.)

2. Comment: Added to the other oil finds in western Uganda, the
latest find further demonstrates the potential for more discoveries
in the Albertine Graben. However, experts caution that the oil is
relatively heavy and would have to be chemically treated before it
could be exported. The small refinery foreseen under the GOU's
early production scheme (ref C) is not very efficient. If actual
reserves are greater than initial estimates of 350 million barrels,
the GOU will have to decide between a larger refinery in Uganda, or
a pipeline for export.


HOOVER

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