Oil is not a new discovery in Uganda and NAPE has known this since its formation 15 years ago. Oil discovery in Uganda dates back into the colonial times. NAPE’s Oil Governance Programme started in 2009, starting with monitoring of oil exploration,moving to political advocacy against oil extraction activities, and continuing to the advocacy for community rights and voices now that extraction activities have begun. Below we give a more detailed explanation of the programme.

Oil ExtractionSummary Back ground


—The petroleum potential of Uganda was first documented by A.J Wayland in 1925 based on oil seepages he mapped at that time.

The first well “WAKI-B1” was drilled in Butiaba area in 1938. Further drilling was abandoned from them throughout 1940s 1950s,1960s 1980s due to World War 2 and the subsequent post independence  political Instabilities.

B).Commercial drilling

Was embarked on from 2000 and intensified in 2007 and so far exploration is at around 40% sub divided into 8 Oil Exploration blocks (EAS Rhino Camp Basin in the extreme north,EA1 Pakwach Bsin, Buliisa Discovery Area, Butiaba Discovery area, Kaiso Tonya Discovery area,Kingfisher Discovery area,Kanywataba Prospect area and EA 4B Lake Edward/George Basin Oil basin.

C).How much:

—Estimates  3.5  billion barrels  from with 1.7 billion barrels expected as  recoverable oil

D).Process to Oil production:

—Seismic Studies + Mapping+ Exploration + Production

E).Who is involved

—Government  (3 arms of govt) + Private Sector (Oil Companies-Tullow Oils PLc L, Total, , Dominion ,Eni-Italy,French Total oils Ltd, Chinese off shore National Oil Company (CINOC)+ Civil society + Public + Business Community

F).Biodiversity Richness of the Albertine Oil rift

G).Current issues of Concern in Uganda’s Oil and Gas Industry

H).Focus of NAPE’s Oil governance Programme in Uganda

NAPE’s Oil governance programme focuses on strengthening three thematic areas

  1. Strengthening Networking Of oil host communities and oil host community advocacy groups-by hosting the Oil Watch Africa Network-Ugandan Chapter
  2. Sub granting to oil watch Uganda member  groups
  3.  Strengthening the advocacy capacity of oil host communities
  4. Strengthening the advocacy capacity of Bunyoro Cultural Institution to defend its cultural
  5. Amplifying voices of marginalized Women affected by oil companies
  6. Amplifying voices of the Youths to campaign for good governance of the oil and gas resources
  7. Oil information documentation and dissemination
  8. National level engagements on oil impacts (Human Rights abuses, Environmental degradations, Policy violations, Corruption, Oil and gas legislation, etc )  with government, oil companies, and Other responsible government or private sector Authorities
  9. International engagements and collaborations on oil issues worldwide with partner international networks (Friends of the Earth International, Oil Watch Africa, Oil watch International, Human Rights Business Center, Human Rights Watch, International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) among others such as Global Witness.

Key Accomplishments for NAPE/Oil watch Uganda since 2008

Success Stories

a)      Engagement voices for the locals (Oil host communities) have been amplified.

b)      Locals have been able to organize themselves into communal land associations and acquired customary land certificates.

c)      Majority oil refinery and oil road affected communities have been able to get fair compensations

d)      Government of Uganda and oil companies were forced to back off Kabwoya wildlife reserve and abandon their plans of constructing a mini oil refinery in Kabwoya Wildlife Reserve.

e)      Oil host communities are now fairly involved in plans set up by government and the oil companies

f)       There has been victory against activities of Tullow oils and government. The company has suspended indefinitely further development of Ngasa 1 and Ngasa 2 wells that lie under Lake Albert. Ngasa 1 was sunk into a fault line while Ngasa 2 that lies deep into lake Albert has been abandoned due to environmental sensitivity and economic viability reasons

g)      Many villages have now woken up to start many tree planting pilots in preparation to fossil fuel induced climate change impacts.

h)      Oil refinery affected communities have been able to petition the speaker of parliament on land grabbing issues and some of their issues have been given redress.

i)        Journalists have been facilitated to interact with affected locals and as such, a number of news paper articles on oil have been written month after month, year after year.

j)        Communities are now very much aware and articulate on their land rights and property entitlements

k)      New oil and gas laws have been put in place i.e The Petroleum (exploration, Development and Production Bill also known as the Upstream Bill was tabled to Parliament on Wednesday 8th February 2012 and The Petroleum (Refining, Gas processing, Conversion, Transportation and Storage Bill also known as the Middle stream Bill was tabled to parliament on Tuesday 15th February 2012 and all the two have been passed into law in 2013. The Public Finance bill is also awaiting passing by the president.

NB: Despite the above successes, more oil and gas impacts in form of environmental abuses, human rights violations, land grabbing, environmental pollutions, corruption, conflicts ,policy abuse,etc are expected 2014-2020 as Uganda enters the Middle stream Phase of DEVELOPING THE OIL AND GAS INDUSTRY.