President Museveni launched the spudding process of its oil in the Kingfisher area in Kikuube district to ensure the East African country joins the club of oil producing nations in the world.
Speaking during the function on Tuesday, President Museveni reiterated government’s commitment to use oil and petroleum resources carefully for a long time now that the country has got capacity and expertise on what to do in the oil and gas sector.
“We shall look for all these oils and use them carefully for a long time,” Museveni said.
He also saluted Ugandan scientists for discovering oil resources in 2006 after the British’s initial attempt in 1920 that he said saw oil oozing to the surface at Kibiro but later said it had evaporated according to the report of the commissioner of Geology by then.
“This is where I want to appeal to leaders. Avoid bumping into things you don’t know about. If you are not sure of something, ask and you will be helped. I’m very happy for these people (scientists) who went for training. When they came back, they didn’t let us down. I thank them very much and I salute them,” Museveni said.
The president applauded the partner oil companies for bringing their experience and resources to invest in Uganda’s oil industry.
“I want to thank CNOOC for moving, I hope others are also moving. We are therefore moving forward with the oil. For us here we are very careful. We shall develop our oil resources but also develop solar energy.”
On the other hand, the president urged Ugandans to engage in agriculture and produce food that will be consumed by those working in oil fields.
“That is one of the areas where you can tap wealth.”
The president however cautioned against encroachment on Bugoma forest that he said is so influential in environmental protection.
The Vice President Jessica Alupo described the occasion as “a very big milestone” for the country.
The Minister for Energy Ruth Nankabirwa also reiterated the role played by oil companies to ensure the country reaches the milestone.
She noted that the refinery project continues to register significant progress and the Albertine Graben Energy Consortium undertook front end engineering and design that was approved by government in July 2022, adding that the environmental social impact assessment study is also near completion.
“We have made sure that we leave no stone unturned on all the international requirements because we know that not everybody wishes Uganda and Africa well. What we have done is to make sure that we have put in place all the requirements. We are going to drill, knowing that we have taken care of environmental, health and safety issues.”
The CNOOC Uganda Limited president, Chen Zhuobiao, described the event as a great event as a great step towards achieving Uganda’s first oil by 2025.