East Africa's Oil and Gas Potential Gains Prominence

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In short
An international summit focusing on oil and gas in East Africa is due in London where international investors and policy makers from the region are expected to discuss ways of improving the industry.

An international summit focusing on oil and gas in East Africa is due in London where international investors and policy makers from the region are expected to discuss ways of improving the industry.

The event, including a similar one due in Nairobi in November, signals the increasing level of prominence, which the extractive sector in the region has gained since commercial discoveries of oil and gas were announced recently in some of the countries in the region.
 
Information available with CWC Group, the organizers of October 1st summit, says that investors would be exposed to resource potential and infrastructure opportunities related to the oil and gas industry that exist in East Africa.
 
Hakim Muwonge, a Ugandan Oil and Gas attorney is listed among the key speakers at the event to be held at Marriot London Grosvenor Square, UK. He told URN on Friday that he was already on his way to the event where he is scheduled to explore emerging opportunities and challenges facing the oil industry in Uganda. He says he will also discuss the need for reviewing licensing and the roles of the energy ministry, the petroleum authority and the national oil company.
 
However, Gloria Sebikari, the Communications Officer at the Petroleum Exploration and Production Department at the energy and minerals ministry, told URN that they were not aware about the London event except the East Africa Oil and Gas Summit to be hosted by the Kenyan government in Nairobi between 13 and 14 November.
 
Kiraitu Murungi, Kenya’s minister for Energy says the Nairobi summit is intended to help experts from the oil and gas industry to share their knowledge and explore current challenges and investment opportunities in the region with investors.
 
Murungi said East Africa is currently the most exciting region in the world and that the summit would give investors latest information on oil and gas, the most-up-to-date business opportunities and the chance to network with people who are directly engaged in the industry in the region.
 
Murungi adds that the annual East African Oil and Gas summit would also draw Energy ministers from Kenya, Tanzania, Mozambique, Uganda, South Sudan, Rwanda and Burundi.
 
In his book, The Story of Petroleum Exploration in Uganda : A Matter of Faith, Reuben Kashambuzi, a former commissioner in the Petroleum Exploration and Production department, mentions the importance of such forum. He explains that often, in the past, teams from the department travelled to different international meetings to showcase the oil and gas potential in the country.
 
Kashambuzi, currently retired and working as a Chief Technical Advisor in the ministry of Energy and Mineral development, explains in the book how at such meetings he often labored to attract the interest of oil exploration experts and companies into the oil sector in Uganda, an industry that was at the time regarded with pessimism but is presently gaining prominence.
 
The oil industry in Uganda has managed to attract Total, Tullow and the Chinese National Offshore Oil Company—CNOOC among other companies with oil production expected in 2016. By this date, government says it would have completed the initial phase of building a low capacity refinery expected to expand gradually.