Story Ideas from the Oil and Gas Sector

Land acquisition and use in the oil areas

  • Land price inflation.
    Lake Albert (Africa)
    Lake Albert (Africa) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

    Lake Albert (Africa) (Photo credit:

  • Outsiders grabbing it occasioning disputes yet about 99% of population in oil areas depends on land for livelihood.
  • Most of this purchase is speculative – land bought with aim of re-selling.
  • Law speaks of prior informed consent yet people not aware of laws as they “sell” the land, most of which is customary/communal.
  • Survey and titling of land.
  • Lack of land use policy in oil areas.
  • Government has the mandate to protect all Ugandans and their property, so why is it seemingly absent in oil areas?

Legal and regulatory framework

  • When do the resource and revenue management bills actually go to parliament? Are they the right laws? Are they clear on who is responsible for what?
  • Should there be a third law, specifically on the environment given how rich in flora and fauna the Albertine Garben is?
  • When do institutions like the National Petroleum Authority, Directorate of Petroleum, and National Oil Company get formed?
  • Some think the process too slow given the rapid pace of developments on the ground. Do they have a point?
  • What is the implementation plan for the laws and regulations?
  • Transparency – what is in the PSAs? Will Uganda join EITI process? What are the proposed amendments to the Public Finance and Accountability Act?
  • Evolving taxation regime in wake of Heritage-Government of Uganda capital gains tax dispute.
  • Production timelines
  • First oil is reportedly expected in late 2012 or early 2013, but is that feasible?
  • Government is for refinery, companies for pipeline to export crude. What are the arguments on both sides?
  • If refinery, when exactly does the central processing facility get built?
  • Status of other infrastructure: the airport, the relevant roads, pipelines in the Albertine.
  • Moratorium on licensing
  • When does it get lifted?
  • Who is waiting in the wings out of the 80 companies? Are biggies like ExxonMobil and Shell in the mix? How does Uganda keep out companies with poor human rights and environmental protection records?
  • How will the proposed open bidding work?
  • The oil/gas potential in the Amuru area might be even bigger than anything seen yet. How accurate is that? What are the implications if true?

Local content/participation

  • Who is getting which jobs?
  • Who is taking which contracts?
  • Ugandans racing to acquire skills through government and private/individual initiatives – Makerere University, Kigumba Petroleum Institute, and in Norway, India, Angola, Trinidad and Tobago, UK. Government needs petroleum engineers and lawyers quickly. What is the quality of training at Makerere and Kigumba?
  • What the biggies like Halliburton Logistics are up to?
  • Managing Ugandans’ expectations.
  • When does the local content study (being undertaken by Ugandans and Norwegians) become ready and available to the public?
  • Does the employment of East Africans in Uganda meet local content requirements, especially now that the East African Community countries are implementing the common market protocol? If so, what are the implications of this on the entry of Ugandans into the oil sector?

Environment

  • When does the basin-wide environmental strategic plan get launched?
  • What is the story of the ecologically sensitive Murchison Delta – a Ramsar site? To drill but do so horizontally, or not to drill at all?
  • Quality of EIAs.
  • Impact on wildlife in places such as Murchison Falls Conservation Area.
  • What type of technologies are the companies using?
  • Culture/heritage in Bunyoro Kitara Kingdom

Who names the oil wells, how?

  • Sensitivity to cultural sites.
  • Sensitivity to traditional religious worship sites.
  • Local economy

Impact on fishing in Lake Albert.

  • Implications of rapidly rising youthful population in urban centres (Hoima population may have tripled in recent years); crime figures reportedly rising.
  • Impact on prices for foodstuff, accommodation in Hoima, Masindi.
  • Community complaints over compensation rates for destroyed gardens as a result of seismic survey work or oil drilling, etc.
  • Gender and oil.
  • International oil companies

Who is active today?

  • What is their background?
  • Tullow-CNOOC-TOTAL farm down partnership (September 2011 deadline for finalisation of deal). How far?
  • How effectively does PEPD monitor the companies in the field and outside the field?
  • CSR – are the companies doing a good job given that they will recover their costs?
  • What are their plans for Uganda and the region? Tullow said to be eyeing Kenya and Ethiopia.
  • Regional dimension

Uganda oil is at border with DR Congo – raises transboundary concerns.

  • What plans on the DR Congo side?
  • What has become of joint exploration efforts since the 1990 Museveni-Mobutu agreement?
  • There have been fatal clashes over Rukwanzi Island on Lake Albert, how was that resolved if at all? Did the border redemarcation on the lake end?
  • What threats lie ahead?