898-Mile Uganda–Tanzania Oil Pipeline Nearing Completion, Set for 2025 Debut

(Reuters) — Uganda's Tilenga and Kingfisher petroleum projects, as well as a pipeline to carry their oil to Tanzania for export, are on track for first production by 2025, Uganda National Oil Co.'s chief executive said in an interview.

"Tilenga is still on track," UNOC CEO Proscovia Nabbanja told Reuters on Sunday. "We've seen the three drilling kits being brought into the country. And equally Kingfisher is also on track. Three wells drilled so far on Kingfisher. For Tilenga, four wells."

The 1,445-kilometer (898-mile) East African Crude Oil Pipeline (EACOP) that will transport crude from Tilenga and Kingfisher is also set to come online in 2025, she said in the interview in Abu Dhabi.

EACOP is co-owned by the government of Uganda, France's TotalEnergies, China's CNOOC and Tanzania's Tanzania Petroleum Development Corp (TPDC).

Uganda is in advanced talks with Chinese export credit agency SINOSURE to provide credit for the project, which will cost $5 billion, including the cost of credit, and 40% of the money will be raised through debt while the rest will come from equity, a top Ugandan official said last week.

Nabbanja said the pool of financing for oil and gas projects has been reduced due to climate concerns. But she added: "We still believe we should be able to pull off the financing we require across the different projects."

Five activist groups in June sued TotalEnergies for a second time over Tilenga and EACOP in a Paris civil court, accusing the oil major of failing to protect people and the environment.

Nabbanja said she could not comment on the suit, but said TotalEnergies had been "a prudent operator".

She said the project's co-owners had taken account of environmental considerations from the start of planning.

"So I feel it's a little bit unfair for the pushback across the project, because I think all partners are aligned and the two governments, Tanzania and Uganda, are aligned because we are there and we see the fundamental change the projects have made in the communities even before the first drop of oil comes on."

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