Loading...
Friday

Uganda: Kenya-Tanzania row over oil pipeline deal

photo accessed by wavutic.com 03/25/2016 via Mike Mushi's tweet in a conversation from Irenei Kiria's tweet

By Frederic Musisi

Kampala — With one of them set to lose out on the proposed multi-billion dollar crude oil export pipeline deal from Uganda, a rift has developed between neighbouring Kenya and Tanzania.

Tanzanian authorities on Wednesday, it emerged, confiscated the passports of Kenyan energy secretary (minister), Charles Keter, Petroleum principal secretary, Andrew Kamau and energy principal secretary Joseph Njoroge and Lapsset CEO Sylvester Kasuku, and denied them access to the port of Tanga.

The Kenyan officials were in company of the Ugandan team led by Energy Minister Irene Muloni and other technical personnel, who were tasked early this week at a meeting between President Museveni and his counterpart Uhuru Kenyatta to analyse the cost-benefit of the proposed routes for the multi-billion dollar pipeline infrastructure.

According to Daily Nation, our sister newspaper, the Tanzanian "officials took away the travel documents" reportedly in reciprocation of Kenya's failure to invite a team from Tanzania to Lamu port, when the Ugandan team had toured or to the Monday's Nairobi State House talks.

"They [have] also refused us entry into the port of Tanga," Mr Njoroge told Daily Nation.

The Kenyan and Ugandan officials started with the inspection of the port at Lamu, an archipelago in the Indian Ocean. This is the first proposed route destination of the pipeline from the Albertine Graben/Hoima via Kenya's Lokichar oil belt at Lokichar, to the coast.

The route to Lamu is approximately 1,300 km (808 mile) with a tagged cost of $4.5b (approx. Shs14.9t). The port is part of Kenya's ambitious Lamu Port Southern Sudan-Ethiopia Transport (LAPSSET) Corridor project, poised to be the country's second transport corridor after the Mombasa port corridor.

The second proposed route is from Hoima snaking down south to Tanzania via Masaka to Bukoba to the Tanga port at the Indian Ocean. The route measures approximately 1,403kilometer (876-miles) pegged on a cost of $4b (Shs13t), according to earlier studies.

Uganda has since last year been oscillating between her two neighbours with the pipeline deal, one of the key infrastructures required besides a mid-size [30,000 barrels per day] refinery, as the three international oil companies, UK's Tullow, France's Total and China's Cnooc, make preparations to leap to the next phase of field development/production. The pipeline will facilitate exportation of oil to the international market.

Uganda has a long-standing trade relationship with Kenya to the East while Tanzania is a long-standing political/historical ally to the South. Over 90 per cent of Ugandan cargo, according to ministry of Trade data, goes through the Mombasa port and about 2 per cent goes through the Dar es Salaam port.

Ms Muloni could not be reached immediately by her phone number for an update about the ongoing negotiations. The technical team declined to comment on the pipeline discussions and referred the issue to the minister.

However, an official close to the discussions, intimated to this newspaper that following Monday's presidential meeting, the Kenyan side has offered some incentives like dropping all the proposed tariff rates for the oil flow and has also indicated "maximum" security will be guaranteed for the infrastructure.

Kenya had initially protested some preconditions, which left a deal with them hanging, and prompted Uganda to start talks with Tanzania. If guaranteeing security at Lamu was not convincing enough, the official said, Kenya had also put cards on the table for Mombasa port.

By press time yesterday, engagements were ongoing with the Tanzanian side.

At Monday's meeting where Tanzania was not invited between Presidents Museveni and Kenyatta, technical teams from both sides were directed to harmonise presentations.

The benchmarks for the viability of the export route will be determined by least-cost option for a regional integrated pipeline, addressing constructability issues along all routes--existing and planned infrastructure, terrain, and elevations, assessing and confirming proven [oil] reserves.

The two presidents are set to reconvene in two weeks' time over the matter.

THE BACKGROUND

Uganda's current stock tank oil in place stands at 6.5 billion barrels [1.4b recoverable] while in Kenya, Tullow Oil recently completed exploration and appraisal phases in South Lokichar, and only 600 million barrels of oil have been discovered so far. Tanzania's gas reserves on the other hand are estimated at around 55 trillion cubic feet; which all require the pipeline.

Vigogo Kenya wakwama kufanya umafia


MRADI wa ujenzi wa bomba la mafuta ghafi kutoka mkoani Tanga hadi Hoima nchini Uganda, umechukua sura mpya baada ya Serikali ya Tanzania kushtukia umafia wa baadhi ya vigogo wa Serikali ya Kenya.

Kutokana na hali hiyo vigogo hao walijikuta wakikwama na kunyang’anywa hati za kusafiria walipokuwa wakijaribu kuingia kinyemela katika Bandari ya Tanga.

Maofisa hao waandamizi wa Kenya akiwamo Waziri wa Nishati, Charles Keter, walizuiwa huku ujumbe kutoka nchini Uganda, ulioongozwa na Waziri wa Nishati, Irene Muloni, ukiruhusiwa kuendelea na ziara hiyo bila kusumbuliwa.

Maofisa waandamizi wa Kenya walianza safari yao Lamu, ambako walikagua mradi wa ujenzi wa bandari ya Lamu kabla ya kuelekea Bandari ya Tanga.

Safari hiyo ilikuwa sehemu ya operesheni ya kutatua mvutano baina ya Kenya na Uganda kuhusu mpango wa ujenzi wa bomba la kusafirisha mafuta ya Uganda kupitia Kenya au Tanzania.

Tukio hilo limevuta hisia na kuonesha kiu ya Kenya kuutaka mradi huo kwa udi na uvumba na namna inavyoleta mtihani kwa ushirikiano wa Jumuiya ya Afrika Mashariki.

Mamlaka za Tanzania zilichukua nyaraka za kusafiria za Keter, Katibu Mkuu wa Petroli, Andrew Kamau na mwenzake wa Nishati, Joseph Njoroge na Ofisa Mtendaji Mkuu wa Mradi wa Ujenzi wa Miundombinu ya Lamu, Sudan Kusini na Ethiopia (Lapsset), Sylvester Kasuku, wakati wakijaribu kuingia Bandari ya Tanga kwa mgongo wa ujumbe wa Uganda.

Hatua hiyo inaelezwa kuwa ni moja ya mkakati kwa Tanzania kulipiza kisasi kwa kitendo cha Kenya kutowaalika Lamu wala katika mazungumzo yaliyofanyika Ikulu, Nairobi, baina ya marais Uhuru Kenyatta wa Kenya na Yoweri Museveni wa Uganda Jumatatu wiki hii.

Katika kikao hicho maofisa wa Uganda na wawakilishi wa kampuni za mafuta pekee ndiyo walioalikwa katika mkutano wa Nairobi ilihali ikifahamika Tanzania ina maslahi katika mradi huo.

Kutokana na tukio hilo, Kamau alithibitisha hati za kusafiria za maofisa wa Kenya zilichukuliwa wakati walipowasili Tanga kukagua bandari, ambayo imependekezwa kwa upande wa Tanzania kutumika kusafirisha mafuta ghafi kutoka Uganda.

“Kimsingi tu mateka hapa. Wamekataa kuturudishia hati zetu za kusafiria kwa karibu saa moja. Pia wamekataa kuturuhusu kuingia katika bandari ya Tanga,” Kamau alisema alipohojiwa na gazeti la Daily Nation la nchini Kenya.

“Wameruhusu ujumbe wa Uganda tu kuingia bandarini,” alisema. Hati zetu za kusafiria zilirudishwa karibu saa moja baadaye,” alisema.

Mkataba wa Vienna wa mwaka 1961 unalinda viongozi wenye hadhi ya kidiplomasia, wenye hati za kidiplomasia wanaowasili katika bandari ya kigeni kwa kawaida hupewa stahili fulani za kuingia maeneo hayo.

Lengo la kufanya hivyo ni kulinda wanadiplomasia wa kigeni dhidi ya vikwazo visivyo na sababu wakati wakitimiza shughuli zao.

Hata hivyo ni wajibu wa kuituma Wizara ya Mambo kupitia ubalozi ulio karibu, kuitaarifu nchi wenyeji kuhusu ziara ya ujumbe huo.

Katika tukio hilo kufahamika kama Kenya iliijulisha Tanzania kuhusu ziara hiyo.

Wakati wa mkutano wa Jumatatu, Kenya na Uganda zilishindwa kuafikiana kuhusu ujenzi wa bomba hilo kupitia ukanda wa Kaskazini, kutoka Hoima nchini Uganda kupitia Lokichar, hadi Lamu, wakati Rais Museveni alipoibua maswali kuhusu uwezekano wa mradi huo, bandari ya Lamu kuchelewa pamoja na wasiwasi wa kiusalama nchini Kenya.

Kampuni za mafuta zinazoendesha utafiti nchini Uganda zilikuwa zimeonya kuwa mipango ya Uganda kuanza kuvuna mafuta mwaka 2018 inaweza kuchelewa iwapo itaendelea na mpango wa kujenga bomba hilo nchini Kenya.

Kampuni hizo ni Total, Tullow Oil plc na China National Offshore Oil Company (CNOOC).

Hata hivyo, Tullow Oil plc imekana kuwa na mkono katika utafiti huo.

Tullow imeeleza wazi kuhusu mtazamo wao wa njia za kaskazini na kusini kupitia Kenya kuwezekana kiufundi, ambapo kwa mujibu wa taarifa yake kupitisha bomba la mafuta katika njia ya Kaskazini kuna manufaa zaidi kifedha kwa mafuta ghafi ya Kenya na Uganda.

Baada ya mkutano wa Jumatatu, ujumbe wa Uganda ukiongozwa na Muloni, na timu ya Kenya ikiongozwa na Keter zilipewa kazi ya kufanya mikutano ili kuja na msimamo wa pamoja kuhusu bomba la mafuta na kuripoti kwa marais wakati wa mkutano utakaofanyika Kampala nchini Uganda wiki mbili zijazo.

Baada ya kufanya vikao virefu siku ya Jumanne, timu hizo mbili zilielekea Lamu kukagua maendeleo ya ujenzi wa bandari.

Wakiwa Lamu, maofisa walitembelea magati matatu ya kwanza ya bandari yanayotarajiwa kujengwa.

Baadaye walifanya mkutano wa ndani na wadau wa mradi wa Lamu, Lapsset, Mtendaji wa Ardhi wa Kaunti ya Lamu na watalamu wa sekta ya mafuta baadaye msafara huo walielekea Tanga Tanzania.

Waziri wa Mambo ya Nje wa Kenya, Amina Mohamed, alinukuliwa na gazeti la Nation kwamba wizara yake ilimuagiza balozi wa Kenya mjini Dar es Salaam, Chirau Mwakwere, kutatua suala hilo na Serikali ya Tanzania.

“Balozi wetu anawasiliana nao na anajaribu kutatua tatizo hili. Nitakutaarifu baadaye kuhusu yaliyojiri,” alisema kwa njia ya simu.

Hata hivyo Balozi Mwakwere, alisema hafahamu suala lolote.

“Sifahamu unachozungumza. Iwapo nitajua ningekuwa na taarifa. Lakini subiri nifuatilie,” alisema Balozi Mwakwere .

Kauli ya RC Shigella

Kutokana na tukio hilo MTANZANIA ilimtafuta Mkuu wa Mkoa wa Tanga, Martine Shigella, ili kupata ufafanuzi wa suala hilo ambapo alisema hawakuwa na taarifa za ujio wa wageni kutoka Kenya.

“Mgeni anapokuja ni lazima ujue anatoka wapi na anakwenda wapi, sasa anaingia ndani hana maaelezo ya kina utampeleka wapi? Sisi kama mkoa tuliwaambia hatuna taarifa za ujio wao,” alisema RC Shigella.

0 comments :

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.

 
Toggle Footer
TOP