Conference To Address Oil & Gas Sector Suppliers Interests

 Participants pose for a group photo during the 1st oil and gas convention last year in Kampala COURTESY PHOTO Participants pose for a group photo during the 1st oil and gas convention last year in Kampala

The Uganda Chamber of Mines and Petroleum (UCMP) is set to host the second annual oil and gas convention from April 27-28, 2016 at the Kampala Serena Hotel, as the country seeks to spark renewed interest in the sector.

Running under the theme, “Suppliers’ Roadmap to Operational Excellence”, the conference is largely intended to reassure suppliers and subcontractors about the opportunities in the oil and gas sector amidst the tough industry challenges.

Irene Nakalyango, CEO, Uganda Chamber of Mines and Petroleum, says the conference is aimed at bolstering the industry and highlighting the salient opportunities available. “We call upon everyone involved in the supply of goods and services in the oil and gas sector to make it a point to attend this summit,” noted Nakalyango.

Uganda’s oil industry has been in a lull for almost three years mainly due to protracted negotiations between the Government of Uganda and the international oil companies (IOCs) revolving around the two critical projects of the refinery and the pipeline required for the future development of the natural resource.

This delay happening amidst falling global oil prices slowly dampened the expectations of subcontractors and suppliers many of whom have had to lay off workers.  

But there still exists vast opportunities in logistics, foods and beverages, security, finance, human resource, waste management, crane services and in joint ventures with more experienced foreign firms. To date, government has put emphasis on helping Ugandans get the requisite skills so they are competitive in the industry. Major infrastructure is also being built to boost the industry.

According to the IOCs’ baseline survey of June 2014 titled, “A survey to foster opportunities for Ugandans in the Oil and Gas sector”, Uganda’s petroleum sector will generate 100,000 to 150,000, direct and indirect jobs.

However, the survey identified some barriers that would obstruct people from joining the sector including limited information, lack of skills, poor infrastructures, and administrative bureaucracy among others. It also revealed that only 25 industries of the 420 surveyed in Uganda had high potential to supply the oil and gas sector.

Nakalyango said the convention will thus emphasize local service providers' critical needs, improvement and enhancement, mainly because they are the catalyst for national economic empowerment in the years to come.

To directly address these industry opportunities and challenges and how best the suppliers can prepare themselves to serve the interests of the IOCs and benefit from the national policies, the upcoming summit will also feature breakout workshops on the sidelines.

Logistics and transport firms, foods and beverages suppliers, legal service providers amongst many others are expected to attend. So far several firms including Bollore Africa Logistics, CNOOC Uganda, UAP Insurance, Total E&P, GIZ, Tullow Uganda and PWC have confirmed participation.

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