Congolese Minister of Hydrocarbons, Mr Didier Budimbu Ntubuanga, says the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), is waiting on furthering the conversation with Tanzania about using the East African Crude Oil Pipeline (EACOP).
Speaking at the Invest in African Energy Forum in Paris, France, this week, the minister said it is currently in talks with its regional counterparts with the recent meeting held with Uganda.
In a bid to monetise Uganda’s 1.4 billion barrels of recoverable oil reserves, the EACOP project plans to transport oil from Lake Albert oil fields in Hoima district, mid-western Uganda 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. We were recently in Kampala where we have started the conversation and are waiting on furthering the conversation with neighbouring countries including Tanzania,” he said.
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.
However, Mr Ntubuanga said the Congolese government is working to restore peace in that fragile part of the country to enable it exploit its resources for economic development and growth.
“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,” he said.
Adding: “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.”