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EAC Holds 4th Petroleum Conference

The 4th East African Petroleum Conference (EAPC’09) was held from 11-13 March 2009 at the Sarova White Sands Beach Resort & Spa in Mombasa, Kenya. The conference, whose theme was enhancing exploration and exploitation of oil and gas for social economic development, was officially opened by H.E the Vice President of the Republic of Kenya, Hon. Stephen Kalonzo Musyoka on behalf of President Mwai Kibaki.

The Conference was attended by among others; Rt. Hon. Kenneth Marende, Speaker of Parliament, Kenya; Hon. Kiraitu Murungi, Minister for Energy, Kenya; Hon. Amason Jeffa Kingi, Minister for EAC, Kenya; Hon. Hilary Onek, Minister for Energy and Mineral Development, Uganda; Hon. Philippe Njoni, Minister for Infrastructure, Burundi; Assistant Ministers of the line Ministries; Members of EALA; Chief Executive Officers of Oil Companies and other high profile dignitaries in the Oil industry from the region.

The conference was organized by the EAC Secretariat in collaboration with Kenya’s ministries of EAC and Energy. The Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Local Government of Kenya, Rt. Hon. Musalia Mudavadi officially closed the Conference on 13 March 2009.

The conference attracted over 600 delegates and officials responsible for petroleum and investment promotions and other players in the industry from the region and the countries neighboring EAC, namely Ethiopia, Sudan, DRC, Zambia, Malawi, Mozambique and Somalia.

The 4th East African Petroleum Conference was characterized by Country Presentations, mainly highlighting respective exploration activities with focus on petroleum potential, discoveries, utilization, legal and fiscal regimes and current licensing status.

Presentations were made on new exploration opportunities, evolving technologies and achievements in the search for new hydrocarbon reserves to supplement the existing and depleting fields. An exhibition and poster sessions ran concurrently with the conference and the EAC Secretariat, Partner States and a number of oil and service companies exhibited and showcased the region’s potential and other available investment opportunities.

The 4th East African Petroleum Conference took place at a time when the current global financial meltdown and marked reduction in oil prices have grossly impacted on the exploration financing base of many oil companies worldwide.

The East African Petroleum Conference (EAPC’09) in Mombasa, Kenya was the fourth in a series of petroleum conferences held every two years in the East African Community (EAC) Partner States on rotational basis. The main aim of the conferences is to promote East Africa as a viable investment destination for petroleum exploration and development.

The conferences are organized by the EAC Secretariat, with the venue Partner State as co-host. At the Conference, it was learnt that Uganda has discovered oil and gas in the Albertine Graben and has the intention of constructing a top-up oil refinery to exploit some of the oil for local use. In Tanzania, natural gas has been found at Songo Songo and Mnazi Bay. Tanzania is already tapping the gas resources for generation of electricity and as fuel used in industry.

Rwanda has methane gas that is generated annually in Lake Kivu. A pilot plant for tapping the methane gas has been constructed, with an aim of scaling up to a fully fledged power plant. In Burundi petroleum exploration is on-going in the Rusizi and Tanganyika Basins.

Currently there are several international oil companies carrying out petroleum exploration in Kenya. Although 31 exploration wells have been drilled in the country,
no commercial discoveries have yet been made.

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