Oil and gas explorations in the region have scaled up with important discoveries made in Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda. These discoveries are expected to enhance the resource potentials for the region towards energy self sufficiency.
Discoveries in the region are estimated at about 3 billion barrels of oil in Uganda, over 7 trillion cubic feet of natural gas in Tanzania, over 60 billion cubic meters of methane gas in Lake Kivu, Rwanda, and discoveries of oil and gas in Kenya whose exact quantities are yet to be established.
These efforts were paving way for the construction of new refineries, expansion of existing ones as well as construction of crude oil pipelines. Feasibility studies for the Eldoret - Kampala - Kigali - Bujumbura oil pipeline; Kampala - Mbarara - Mwanza - Dar es Salaam pipeline; Hoima - Kampala pipeline and the storage facilities at Buloba in Kampala are ongoing.
The EAC has identified the following priority Oil and Gas pipeline projects:
i) Kenya – South Sudan: Development of the Lamu - Isiolo - Juba crude oil pipeline. Feasibility studies are ongoing. Time Frame: 2017.
ii) Kenya – Ethiopia: Development of the Lamu - Isiolo - Ethiopia oil product pipeline. Time Frame: 2017.
iii) Kenya: Upgrading of the Mombasa - Eldoret Oil pipeline to increase capacity and efficiency.
iv) Kenya - Uganda - Rwanda - Burundi: Construction of Eldoret - Kampala - Kigali - Bujumbura with a spur from Mbarara to Mwanza - Isaka - Dar es Salaam oil pipeline. A pre-feasibility report on the Kigali – Bujumbura section has been finalised. Feasibility study for Kigali – Bujumbura section was funded by AfDB but its implementation is awaiting approval of funding for the section between Kampala and Kigali. The Eldoret - Kampala product pipeline project is being repackaged to include reserve flow concept to cater for developments in the Albertine region where oil and gas discoveries have been made. This project is to be developed under PPP arrangements with two Governments (Kenya and Uganda) being parties. the re-packaged project is estimated to cost US$ 720 million.
v) Uganda has carried out studies for both crude pipelines from the oil fields to the proposed Refinery and products pipeline and related infrastructure from the Refinery to the market. Plans are underway to start engaging the key stakeholders in taking forward their implementation.
vi) The United Republic of Tanzania is developing a Natural Gas Master Plan for the sustainability of local gas needs and surplus for export. Substantial financing is required in order to drill additional and/or multiple appraisal wells in the deep waters where discoveries have been made as well as putting in place the necessary infrastructure (processing plants, pipeline etc.). In a bid to meet the growing demand for natural gas, a new natural gas pipeline is to be constructed from Mtwara to Dar es Salaam.