Chief of Defense Forces, General Wilson Mbadi says the UPDF will ensure that Uganda’s oil resources in the Albertine are secured.
General Mbadi in an interview says while the army is already on the ground to secure oil and gas installations, extra measures will be put in place to ensure that no external forces disrupt what is going on in Hoima and Bulisa Districts.
“First of all currently we have about three layers of security. You must have seen some physically there. That is the first security in point. They are there. And then working with our marine forces who patrol the lake. And then we have the fisheries protection unit. And we are putting in place other measures,” said General Mbadi
He however declined to reveal the other measures being put in place at this crucial stage as the International Oil Companies begin construction of facilities for the extraction of oil from the ground pro production by 2025.
The discovery of commercial hydrocarbons in Lake Albert and its shores has led to border disputes between Uganda and DRC. There are fears that tension may increase once Uganda begins the extraction given that the boundary between the two countries in the lake cannot be easily identified.
China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC) plans to extract oil in Eastern side of the Lake around the Buhuka area or what is known as Kingfisher project.
Meanwhile Totalenergies Uganda is carrying out work for the construction of the Central Processing Facility and other infrastructure for the Tilenga project.
Meanwhile General Mbadi, also one of the UPDF representatives in Parliament took his colleagues by surprise when he joined them to tour oil and gas projects.
The Ministry of Energy and the Petroleum Authority of Uganda(PAU) facilitated MPS on the Budget, Natural Resources and Environment Committee to acquaint the new legislators of the oil and gas projects in the Albertine.
The legislators toured Uganda Petroleum Institute(UPIK), Stanbic business incubator project in Hoima, Totalenergies Tilenga project, CNOOC’s Kingfisher project among others.
General Mbadi did not attend the first day tour of Uganda Petroleum Institute (UPIK. But on the second day as the MPS setoff for the field, Mbadi was driven to the hotel with his usual heavy security detail.
He jumped out of his official car and joined his budget committee colleagues in the Parliamentary commission bus.
Some MPS too turns to take pictures and selfies with the generally calm Wilson Mbadi. Some MPS told URN that previous Chiefs of Defense Forces also UPDF representatives in parliament did not go to the field for such oversight tours.
But Mbadi in an interview told URN that there was nothing extraordinary about him participating in an oversight tour of the oil and gas projects.
“I think it is a matter of responsibility. Nothing extraordinary about it. The responsibilities are many but you have got to find time for each of those responsibilities. Otherwise who will do it for you?” he said “I’m a member of parliament representing the UPDF in the 11th Parliament. And I was selected by the UPDF caucus to two Committees, the budget committee and foreign affairs Committee. So one of the committees that are here to play their oversight role was the budget Committee” he explained
Besides that, he said he joined the Albertine region tour because of the strategic importance of the Albertine region now. Asked about his impression about the work being done towards putting in place infrastructure for oil and gas, he was impressed by work so far accomplished by Totalenergies in Tilenga.
The Tilenga project by Totalenergies is expected to produce over 200,000 barrels of crude oil per day.
Totalenergies in May embarked on a 43-month journey of putting up the central processing facility and other infrastructure. The tentative plan is to have first oil by 2025.