Congolese Minister of Hydrocarbons H.E. Didier Budimbu Ntubuanga issued an update on the DRC’s participation in the proposed East African Crude Oil Pipeline (EACOP) on Thursday at the Invest in African Energy Forum in Paris, stating that the country is currently in talks with its regional counterparts.
In a bid to monetize Uganda’s 1.4 billion barrels of recoverable oil reserves, the EACOP project plans to transport oil from Uganda’s Lake Albert oil fields to the port of Tanga in Tanzania, where it will be sold to international markets.
“We did start talks with regards to our contribution in the EACOP pipeline,” said H.E. Minister Ntubuanga. “We were recently in Kampala where we had a joint communication with the Honorable Minister of Hydrocarbons of Uganda. We have started the conversation and are waiting on furthering the conversation with neighboring countries including Tanzania.”
Almost a decade in the making, the proposed pipeline has endured several setbacks in financing and development, from securing the requisite $3.6 billion in investment capital, to now facing armed rebel groups that threaten security in eastern DRC.
“Concerning the situation on the eastern side of the country, it is a political matter that everyone is aware of and our government is eagerly working to install peace within that area of the country,” stated the Minister. “Concerning our licensing round, it takes a few months in terms of the schedule for companies to be able to submit the information. We believe that by the time it will be done, we should have peace in that area already.”