Tullow appoints Uganda head for Albertine rift basin development
By NICHOLAS BARIYO
KAMPALA, Uganda -- U.K.-based Tullow Oil has appointed a new general manager for its Ugandan unit, who will oversee the development of oil fields in the country's lake Albertine rift basin.
Jimmy Mugerwa is the first Ugandan to hold such a position at the company, and will officially assume his position Oct.1, Jimmy Kiberu, the Tullow Uganda spokesman, said in a statement.
"Mr. Mugerwa will be accountable for the delivery of Tullow's Uganda work program and the forthcoming Lake Albert Basin Development Plan together with the Government of Uganda and Tullow's partners, CNOOC and Total," Mr. Kiberu said. Mugerwa formerly worked as the head of Royal Dutch Shell business in East Africa.
People familiar with the situation say that the company has been under pressure from the government to appoint a Ugandan to head its business ahead of the planned oil production start up.
"The announcement...will apply some pressure on the other two (CNOOC and Total) who have varying stages of indigenization," said Angelo Izama an independent researcher with Uganda-based firm, Fanaka Kwawote.
In February, Tullow completed the long awaited plan to sell two thirds of its interests in the country's three oil blocks to Total and CNOOC and the three companies are expected to invest at least $10 billion in the country's oil sector over the next five years.
The $2.9 billion sale was mainly delayed due to a string of disagreements with the government.
With at least 1.5 billion barrels of oil already discovered in the Lake Albertine rift, Uganda is expected to produce at least 200,000 bopd by 2016, company officials say.
The land locked East African nation will require a 1,300-km long export pipeline to the Kenyan port of Mombasa, and plans are also underway to build a small refinery for the local and regional markets.
Martyn Morris, Tullow's regional business manager in South and East Africa said separately that Mugerwa will manage Uganda's entry into the league of global oil producers.
Dow Jones Newswires