WHEN oil was discovered on the shores of
Uganda’s part of Lake Albert in 2006, there were
forecasts that production would start within five years or so.
The reality, after years of disputes, is that first oil,
together with the start-up of the inland refinery the
government is insisting on, will not be achieved for another
five years at the earliest. In October, the government
firmed-up its plan for a refinery with a call for a partner to
operate and take a 60% interest in the facility, initially of
30,000 barrels a day (b/d) capacity but later to double, which
is to be constructed near the oilfields, about 1,300 km from
the coast (see box). The authorities’ schedule
envisages selecting the partner in the first half of next year,
starting construction work almost immediately and completing
the refinery in 2017-18, when oil production will also start.
In late-September, the first...