TotalEnergies and CNOOC Announce FID for $10-Billion Uganda and Tanzania Project
The Lake Albert project includes the development of oil fields, processing facilities, and an electrically heated pipeline network.
The Lake Albert development comprises the Tilenga and Kingfisher upstream oil projects in Uganda and the construction of the East African Crude Oil Pipeline (EACOP) in Uganda and Tanzania. The Tilenga project, operated by TotalEnergies, and the Kingfisher project, operated by CNOOC, are expected to start producing in 2025 and to reach a cumulative plateau production of 230,000 B/D.
The upstream partners are TotalEnergies (56.67%), CNOOC (28.33%), and UNOC (15%). Production from the Uganda oil fields will be transported to the port of Tanga in Tanzania on the Indian Ocean through the EACOP cross-border pipeline, whose shareholders are TotalEnergies (62%), UNOC (15%), TPDC (15%), and CNOOC (8%).
Uganda's crude is medium-light 30 °API, low in sulfur but very waxy, with a pour point of 40°C, making it solid at surface temperature. The EACOP website notes that “due to the viscous and waxy nature of Uganda’s crude oil, the pipeline will need to be heated along the entire route, making the EACOP the longest electrically heated pipeline in the world.”
TotalEnergies’ strategy is to only approve new projects if they are low cost and low emissions. The design of the facilities incorporates measures to limit greenhouse-gas emissions well below 20 kg CO2e/BOE, including the extraction of liquefied petroleum gas for use in regional markets as a substitute for burning biomass, and the solarization of the EACOP pipeline.
TotalEnergies and the Ugandan Ministry of Energy and Minerals also signed today a memorandum of understanding (MoU) for the development of solar, wind, geothermal, and other renewable technology power projects with a combined installed electricity output capacity of 1 GW by 2030.
Crude oil reserves were discovered in 2006 by Uganda near its border with the Democratic Republic of Congo. However, disagreements between the government and oil firms over taxes and strategies and a lack of infrastructure caused repeated delays.
Government geologists estimate that the country's gross reserves stand at 6.5 billion bbl, while recoverable oil is seen at 1.4 billion bbl, according to a statement released by the Uganda Media Centre.
"With this project, the two countries are projected to realize their record level of foreign direct investment flows to the tune of $3.5 billion over the period from 2022 to 2025, which is an increase of over 60% compared to the current levels of foreign direct investment flows," Tanzania’s Vice President Philip Isdor Mpango said in the statement.
"This milestone puts us on the path to first oil in 2025," Minister of Energy and Mineral Development Ruth Nankabirwa Ssentamu said in a speech ahead of the signing.