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Reply #22: africa: Uganda struggles to make oil a blessing [View All]

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xchrom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-30-11 08:13 AM
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22. africa: Uganda struggles to make oil a blessing

KAMPALA, Uganda (MarketWatch) Every year, thousands of tourists trek into the lush Albertine Rift in western Uganda, where deep forests are home to elephants, chimpanzees and the endangered Mountain gorilla. But in 2006, geologists discovered the Rift was home to something else as well: enough oil to make Uganda one of Africas top petroleum producing countries.

Some $1.5 billion has already been invested in Ugandas oil, the countrys Ministry of Energy announced earlier this month. The UKs Tullow Oil /quotes/zigman/271296 UK:TLW +2.10% , Frances Total /quotes/zigman/167990/quotes/nls/tot TOT +4.12% and Chinas CNOOC /quotes/zigman/274848/quotes/nls/ceo CEO -1.10% are all eager to begin commercial production, which is slated to begin as early as next year.

With 40% of the oil-rich Albertine Graben explored so far, 2.5 billion barrels have already been confirmed, according to Tullow. Fred Kabagambe-Kaliisa, permanent secretary in the Ministry of Energy, said in October the Grabens potential could be as high as six billion barrels. Oil revenues could be enough to boost the Ugandan governments income by as much as 30%, according to the World Bank.

This imminent flood of oil dollars has led some to wonder whether Uganda is about to become the latest victim of the so-called resource curse, which has afflicted other resource-rich countries in Africa with lopsided economies, poverty, corruption and weak growth.
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