Uganda and Africa still need to exploit oil resources – Minister Okaasai

The need for energy transition must be contextualized to reflect with the actual reality and the needs of the African continent with a view to providing and enabling the sustainable exploitation of the oil and gas resources.

The energy transition refers to the global energy sector's shift from fossil-based systems of energy production and consumption including oil, natural gas and coal to renewable energy sources like wind and solar, biogas, as well as lithium-ion batteries.

Opolot Sidronius Okaasai the minister of state for energy said during a panel discussion at the CERAWEEK (Cambridge Energy Research Associates Week) 2022 held in Houston, Texas, USA.

“We think that Africa needs special treatment through the provision of financing, technology and capacity building aimed at sustainable exploitation of its energy resources including fossil fuels, while striving to minimize emissions” Okaasai remarked.

A statement from the Petroleum Authority of Uganda quoted Okaasai explaining that Uganda was a clean energy country. He noted that Uganda was making efforts to deliver electricity, which is one of the clean energy sources to rural areas.

The minister appealed to investors to bring in technology that can be used to effectively develop the abundant renewable energies in the country

These include; oil and gas, solar energy, hydroelectric power, geothermal energy, and hydrogen, among others

“Uganda was a clean energy country, and was making effort to deliver electricity, which is one of the clean energy sources to rural areas”, Okaasai said.

“The region is well endowed with enormous natural resources such as hydro, geothermal, petroleum resources, wind, and solar energy, among others, yet only a small fraction of this potential has been developed,” he added.

Patrick Pouyanne the Chairman of TotalEnergies, confirmed availability of funding for its oil and gas projects in Uganda during the event

Pouyanne said the funding was available especially after the announcement of the final investment decision for the Uganda’s oil and gas projects on 1 February 2022.

Demetrios Papathanasiou, the Global director for the World Bank’s Energy and Extractives Global Practice, a panelist, indicated readiness of the World Bank to offer funding for energy projects in Uganda.

CERAWEEK is an annual meeting of the world energy industry leaders which plays a very important role in shaping the global energy agenda.

Uganda’s delegation to CERAWEEK 2022 which was led by Okaasai included officials from the Petroleum Authority of Uganda and the Uganda National Oil Company.

The key outcomes of this conference included the need for continued and accelerated exploration and production of oil and gas resources to guarantee energy security especially since the world is currently experiencing shortage of energy. Another outcome was the need to develop technologies to capture and store carbon arising from some energy sources, especially fossil fuels and the need to gradually transition into renewable energy such as hydrogen, solar and nuclear energy, among others.

The CERAWEEK 2022 was attended by over 6000 delegates, including top government officials and industry players worldwide.

Source: New Vision

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