The Independent (Kampala)

Uganda: Museveni Set to Discuss Oil With Putin

Russian president Vladimir Putin is scheduled to meet his Ugandan counterpart Yoweri Museveni on Dec.11 to discuss broader trade and economic cooperation with Uganda, according to a statement from the Kremlin.

"During the negotiations, the sides intend to discuss the prospects of strengthening bilateral cooperation in...oil and gas, electric power and other spheres," the Kremlin said.

Russia has several interests with Uganda which range from supplying combat aircraft to oil and gas projects.

Uganda signed its first contract to buy six Sukhoi Su-30MK2 fighters from Russia early this year for an undisclosed sum and according to Russian sources; Uganda is currently in talks with Rosoboronexport, a Russian state arms export company over an option purchase of six more jets.

On the other hand, Russia's largest independent crude producer LUKoil has expressed interest in oil and gas exploration, production and refining in Uganda.

Foreign interest in Uganda's oil sector continues to grow ever since crude oil deposits were discovered in 2006 in the Albertine Graben area along the country's western border with the Democratic Republic of Congo. Current reserves are estimated at about 3.5b barrels.

Museveni's trip to Russia comes three days after Parliament finally passed the Petroleum (Exploration, Development and Production) Bill, 2012 on Dec.7 including the sticky Clause 9 that vests power in the hands of the Minister of Energy and Mineral Development to issue and revoke licenses to companies wishing to do business in the oil and gas sector.

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