DRC looks at using EACOP to export crude oil

East African Crude Oil Pipeline (EACOP) logo. (Image: EACOP)

The Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) is looking at using the East African Crude Oil Pipeline (EACOP) to export oil from blocks in the country’s Albertine Graben basin.

The respective ministries of Uganda and the DRC met in Kampala to discuss the DRC’s access to the EACOP as well as the role the pipeline will play in getting DRC crude to international markets.

In a Twitter statement, the DRC Hydrocarbons Minister, Mr Didier Budimbu Ntubuanga, said discussions focused on bilateral relations, the development of hydrocarbons and access to the EACOP for the transport of crude oil which will be extracted from the Albertine Graben in the DRC.

“Uganda acknowledged the crucial requirement of DRC to access the East African Crude Oil Pipeline (EACOP) for the transport of crude oil to be produced from the oil exploration blocks located in the Albertine Graben in the Democratic Republic of Congo,” the statement reads.

DRC and Uganda share the oil-rich basin of the Albertine Graben.

During the meeting, Mr Ntubuanga and his Ugandan counterpart, Minister of Energy and Mineral Development Dr Ruth Nankabirwa Ssentamu, established a taskforce made up of technical teams from both countries, whose role is to assess the feasibility and strategy of the DRC’s tie-in.

Upon the finalisation of the report, a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) will be signed between the two countries.

The meeting follows the DRC opening of a 30-block licensing round in 2022 covering blocks in the Albertine Basin – situated on the eastern border of the DRC and the western border of Uganda.

Using the 1,143km EACOP which links the Tilenga and Kingfisher oilfields in the Ugandan side of the Albertine Graben to international markets via the Port of Tanga in Tanzania – the DRC will be able to connect directly to regional and global markets.

Uganda is developing the $3.5b 1,445km (898-mile) EACOP that will start from oil fields in the Albertine rift basin in Hoima district on its western border with DRC to Tanzania’s Indian Ocean seaport of Tanga.

The EACOP is on track for first production in 2025.

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