Uganda aims to start commercially pumping its oil reserves in April 2025, with China being considered as a potential source of funds to develop an export pipeline, authorities said on Tuesday.
Although Ugandan officials have previously mentioned 2025 as the year for the commencement of production, it is the first time they are being specific on the month.
“I hope that by April 2025 we shall see the first oil,” energy minister Ruth Nankabirwa Ssentamu said at a conference in Abu Dhabi.
Uganda and neighbouring Tanzania are also confident they will secure funding for a planned crude export pipeline, she said.
Tanzania President Samia Suluhu Hassan was expected to travel to China soon, Ssentamu said, for “the completion of the mobilisation of resources. And I know that we will get money.”
“China is always ready,” she said when asked if the money would come from China. “China is always ready and I want to encourage Europe, I want to encourage America to [also] … invest in Uganda.”
In February, TotalEnergies and its partner China National Offshore Oil Corporation reached a final investment decision to develop Uganda’s oilfields in the country’s west.
Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni has criticised the European Union parliament after it passed a resolution urging TotalEnergies to delay the development of the pipeline by a year to explore an alternative route or alternative renewable energy projects.
There has also been criticism from environmentalists about the proposed project because it runs through one of the country’s national parks. But Museveni has endorsed it, warning that he will not “allow anybody to play around” with “my oil”.