Mr Ernest Rubondo, the Executive Director (ED) for the Petroleum Authority of Uganda (PAU), has said the oil sector has reached a level where its activities cannot be halted because some Ugandans are not ready to participate.
While speaking to journalists at the Tilenga project Central Processing Facility (CPF), the ED emphasised that much as the government would like at least 40% of the opportunities taken by Ugandans and remains in Uganda’s economy, failure to get those that qualify shall not derail the projects.
“One may think 40% is too low but we must be honest to ourselves because most of the technologies used that cost a lot are not made by us,” he said.
Mr Rubondo reiterated his call to Ugandans to strategically position themselves with the relevant skills and investments in order to benefit from numerous opportunities presented by the oil industry.
He noted that transportation to the field of the first Tilenga project rig signifies that more opportunities will be presented on ground as part of the $4.6b Tilenga project investment.
The PAU boss further encouraged local companies to register on the National Supplier Database (NSD) and individuals to register on the National Oil and Gas Talent Register set up to clear the way for companies and individuals to benefit from the oil industry.
Mr Rubondo also tipped Ugandans on the service and labour opportunities on the 4,000 units of the camp at the CPF under construction that will need suppliers of about 2,000 air conditioners, plumbers and electricians very soon.
He said he was amused to find the number of people at TotalEnergies Bugungu Camp increase from 400 to 12,000 most of whom are Ugandans supplying goods and services or directly employed.
The arrival of the first Tilenga project rig a month and that of the Kingfisher project is a signal that oil companies and the Ugandan government are determined to see the about 6.5 billion barrels of crude oil on the surface despite the current overseas-based wave of opposition against the integral East African Crude Oil Pipeline (EACOP) project.
Mr Rubondo is leading a delegation of PAU inspecting the oil project in different parts of the Albertine region that will end with visiting the Kingfisher project.