Tanzania and Uganda have signed an agreement allowing for the construction of a 1,445km crude oil pipeline.
The $3.5bn project will connect Uganda’s oil fields to the Tanzanian port of Tanga, Reuters reported. The news agency cited Tanzania’s government spokesman Hassan Abassi as saying that 80% of the crude oil pipeline will pass through the country.
Abassi added that the pipeline is expected to create over 18,000 jobs for Tanzanians. Though oil reserves were found in 2006 in Uganda, production has been delayed due to a lack of export pipeline infrastructure.
The start date for the construction of the oil pipeline, which is set to become East Africa’s first major pipeline, has not yet been announced. There are warnings that the project could come at a huge cost to some communities in Uganda. The BBC cited a joint report by the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) and Oxfam, which stated that over 12,000 families were at risk of losing their land and livelihoods.
The signing ceremony was attended by the presidents of Uganda and Tanzania. It comes just days after Total, the majority shareholder in Ugandan oil fields, signed an agreement on the pipeline with the Government of Uganda.
In September 2019, Total suspended all activities on the $3.5bn crude export pipeline due to uncertainty over its Uganda operation. In April, Total brokered a deal to acquire oil and gas exploration firm Tullow’s entire stake in the Lake Albert development project in Uganda for $575m.