|Emerging oil-producing nations in Africa have been urged to obligate oil exploration companies to establish oil refineries to enhance value-addition and maximise national revenue.
“Governments must realise that oil refineries are critical for oil production to derive maximum revenue from the oil sector.
“Government musts obligate oil companies to build refineries,” said Bernard Ongodia, Senior Geophysicist at the Petroleum Exploration and Production Department of the Ugandan Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development.
Mr. Ongodia made this known in Kampala, Uganda, at a 10-day workshop organised by the Revenue Watch Institute in collaboration with Ghanaian-based Penplusbytes International Institute of ICT Journalism and the Thomson Reuters Foundation in the UK.
About 16 journalists from Ghana and Uganda are attending the workshop to help sharpen their skills in oil, gas, and mining reporting
“Oil refineries when fully established will help process part of the product for domestic consumption,” he said.
Available estimates indicate that a 20,000 barrel-per-day (bpd) capacity refinery may cost US$20million, while a 100,000 bpd capacity refinery might cost US$500million. It as well takes between three to five years to fully complete an oil refinery.
Mr. Ongodia said Uganda is committed to effective and efficient management of the petroleum sector, and one of the policy recommendations is for the country to join the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (ETTI) that ensures government is held accountable for its management of the industry.
Mr. Jackson Byaruhanga, economist and co-author of “National Participation in the Ugandan Oil and Gas Industry”, told Business and Financial Times in an interview that “oil refineries are critical for African countries for the purposes of value addition.
“Refining oil in Uganda is a must,” he said.
He urged Ghana and Uganda to employ well-strategised processes and programmes that will help maximise profits to the benefit of the citizenry.