Earth Finds

Earth Finds

Kenya Picks Petroleum Regulatory Authority Formation Lessons From Uganda

A delegation from the Ministry of Petroleum and Mines, Kenya has completed a two-day benchmarking and familiarisation visit to the Petroleum Authority of Uganda (PAU), the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development (MEMD) and the Uganda National Oil Company (UNOC).  The Government of Kenya is in the process of setting up a Petroleum Regulatory Authority.

The three institutions held a series of meetings with the five-man delegation led by Mr. James Ng’ang’a the Ag. Secretary Petroleum at the Ministry and the PAU’s offices.

“Uganda’s collaboration with our Kenya counterparts in the oil and gas sector dates to the 1990s when both countries were acquiring data to promote the sector in the region.  It is important to keep up the momentum to collaborate and learn from each other’s achievements”, Mr. Robert Kasande, Permanent Secretary, MEMD said.

Mr. James Ng’ang’a revealed that that the objective of the Kenyan Government is to set up a regulatory institution with structures, business processes, operating procedures and relevant job profiles.

“It is in this regard and recognition of the efforts of the Government of Uganda towards the successful establishment and operationalisation of the Petroleum Authority of Uganda that we are here to learn from you how we can as well set up a similar institution,” said Ng’ang’a.

The Petroleum Authority of Uganda was established by Uganda’s Upstream Petroleum Act of 2013, and operationalised in October 2015 when the Board of Directors was appointed and the Executive Director recruited in September 2016. Kenya’s Petroleum Act  2019 provides for the established of a Petroleum Regulatory Authority.

Mr. Ernest Rubondo, the Executive Director PAU emphasised the need for the Government of Kenya to clearly define the roles and objectives of the regulatory institution.  “Different countries have different models of institutional set up for the oil and gas sector; therefore, the objective must be clear from the start.  This will guide the selection of the personnel to run the Authority, which must be aligned to your objectives, thorough and based on expertise, experience and merit,” said Rubondo.

The Kenyan delegation had an opportunity to further engage with the technical teams from the institutions and have a deeper understanding of the role each entity plays, and the lessons learnt during the transition. 

Mr. Kasande cautioned the visiting delegation on the need to manage the transition especially in terms of staffing and the importance of a clear separation roles of between the established and new institutions.

 “Once the institutions are established, you must separate the roles, have comparable budget lines so as not to have all your technical officers leaving one institution to go to other due to differences in operational budgets,” Kasande said.

The PAU highlighted its strategic direction, how it undertakes its key regulatory functions, the staffing and skills required and the outlook for the sector.

 The delegation visited the PAU and Directorate of Petroleum’s (DoP) offices premises in Entebbe where they were taken through the different software, databases and applications used in regulation, the core store and laboratories and the ongoing construction of the PAU and DoP office premises that will host the National Petroleum Data Repository and modern Laboratories in Entebbe.

“The regulatory functions of the PAU are laid out with a focused direction indicated in the institutional manuals that have been put in place. The institutional systems are well coordinated, with brilliant and passionate staff administering systems such as the National Suppliers Database and the National Oil and Gas Talent Register.” Mr. Ng’ang’a concluded.

The East African partner states have continued to work closely to promote and grow the emerging Oil and Gas sector under forums like the East African Petroleum Conference and Exhibition (EAPCE) that is held biannually. Uganda will host the next edition slated for 2021 after Kenya passed on the burton having hosted the 2019 edition in May in Mombasa where Uganda announced its Second Competitive Licensing Round  for five blocks.

Huawei Releases New 5G Products And Solutions, Poised To Bring New Value

At the Huawei product and solution launch in London, Ryan Ding, Executive Director of the Board and President of Huawei's Carrier BG, delivered a keynote titled "5G, Bring New Value". Ding released Huawei's new 5G products and solutions and launched the 5G Partner Innovation Program. These efforts aim to build a thriving 5G ecosystem and make 5G a commercial success.

5G has developed beyond imagination in terms of deployment, ecosystem, and experience, says Ding, and networks are the foundation for the 5G business. So far, Huawei has been awarded 91 commercial 5G contracts and shipped over 600,000 5G Massive MIMO Active Antenna Units (AAUs). As a leading global 5G supplier, Huawei is committed to developing the best end-to-end 5G solutions.

These will include the industry's highest-performance 5G base station that supports all scenarios and the Blade AAU with the industry’s highest level of integration. The Blade AAU can work under all sub-6 GHz frequency bands and support 2G, 3G, 4G, and 5G networks.

This addresses the issue of limited space for antenna installation, and reduces the total cost of ownership (TCO) by over 30% when compared to existing solutions. Huawei is also the first vendor in the industry to provide industrial 5G modules for vertical applications.

With 4G, people can share their videos and voices. However, with the ultra-high bandwidth offered by 5G, people will be able to enjoy immersive AR and VR experiences, allowing them to convey their thoughts and feelings like never before. These amazing experiences will create incredible new value.

As 5G enhanced mobile broadband (eMBB) matures, high-definition video services will drive the massive growth of 5G B2C services. 5G B2B services have also shown huge potential. Huawei and some operators have jointly released 5G white papers and explored B2B applications in order to drive 5G application in numerous industries.

At the launch event, Ryan Ding showed the audience Huawei's recently-released live broadcast backpack. This backpack, embedded with a 5G module, makes live broadcasting far easier.

Ding emphasized that in the 4G era, virtually all operators provided the same network experience. However, in the 5G era, operators can provide differentiated experiences and charge users based on more metrics, including data volume, latency, bandwidth, and number of devices connected. This makes it possible to monetize 5G. It is critical that operators redefine their 5G business models now.

Huawei and its global partners have worked together on multiple 5G projects, covering many domains including new media, campus, healthcare, and education. At the event, Ryan Ding launched the 5G Partner Innovation Program, witnessed by many of Huawei's industry partners.

Through this program, Huawei plans to invest US$20 million into innovative 5G applications over the next 5 years, contributing to a thriving 5G ecosystem and accelerating the commercial success of 5G.

Oil Refinery-Affected People Compensation Court Case Continues Tomorrow

Tomorrow on Friday, February 21, 2020, the oil refinery-affected people will appear in court for hearing of their case against the government. The case hearing will take place at the Kampala High Court.

The oil refinery-affected people filed the court case against the government in March 2014 following government failure to pay them prompt, fair and adequate compensation while acquiring their land beginning in 2012 for an oil refinery that will be located in Kabaale, Hoima.

The above failure by the government constituted a violation of Article 26 of the 1995 Uganda Constitution which provides for the prompt payment of fair and adequate compensation before government compulsorily acquires citizens’ private property.

At the case hearing tomorrow, two refinery-affected government will be cross-examined in the morning and afternoon by the government’s lawyer.

“Court heard our prayer and agreed to fast track hearing of the people’s case. This is why the case will be heard both in the morning and in the afternoon. We are happy that the court committed to hear the case at a faster pace. The refinery-affected people filed their case in March 2014 before some of them were compensated by the government. They had hoped that court would expeditiously decide their case to compel the government to pay them adequate compensation before the compensation process was concluded.

However, by 2018 when all the refinery-affected people who are party to the suit had been compensated, court had failed to conclude the people’s case.

This was unfortunate and a miscarriage of justice. We hope that the people will finally get justice when the case is concluded and the judge orders for payment of adequate compensation for them,” Mr. Dickens Kamugisha, the CEO of Africa Institute for Energy Governance (AFIEGO) says.

AFIEGO is supporting the oil refinery-affected people in their case. Since the filing of the case, the refinery-affected people including women have had to travel for as many as over 246km to have their case heard.

“Travelling to Kampala has been especially hard for women. They have to leave their children and homes in the care of others when they come for the case hearings. It is good that the court is trying to end the people’s suffering especially that of women by hearing their case at a faster rate.

We hope that the judge will stick to her commitment and the case will be concluded this year,” Ms. Doreen Namara, AFIEGO’s Legal Assistant, says.

During the last case hearing on September 23, 2019, the presiding judge, Lady Justice Cornelia Sabitti, committed to concluding the refinery-affected people’s case by March 2020.

Mr. Innocent Tumwebaze, the chairperson of the Oil Refinery Residents’ Association (ORRA), notes: “Our case is not only meant for our benefit. It is also for the benefit of other project-affected persons [PAPs]. We want the court to rule on matters that are also important for communities that have been affected by the Tilenga, Kingfisher, East African Crude Oil Pipeline [EACOP] and other oil projects.”

Among others, the refinery-affected people want the court to:

  • Declare that the oil refinery compensation process by government violated Article 26 of the 1995 Uganda Constitution leading to delayed, unfair and inadequate compensation of the oil refinery-affected people.
  • Declare that the use of cut off dates through which PAPs are stopped from using their land for new developments before compensation is unconstitutional.
  • Order government to pay adequate and fair compensation to the oil refinery-affected people.
  • Order government to formulate regulations for the assessment and payment of compensation as is provided for under section 20 of the 1965 Land Acquisition Act to prevent the delayed compensation and under-compensation of PAPs that partly arises due to lack of the aforementioned regulations.

South Sudan Make Case For Oil & Gas Financial Transparency In Latest Report

The seventh Petroleum Report issued by the Ministry of Petroleum, Republic of South Sudan, provides an overview of world oil markets and fundamentals, price forecasts, oilfield reserves, and the ministry's marketing performance.

It forms part of continued efforts by Hon. Eng. Awow Daniel Chuang, the Minister of Petroleum, to promote openness and accountability in this crucial sector.

"We are trying to increase transparency in the country's oil and gas sector, specifically concerning the financial aspects. The Ministry of Petroleum has produced this journal which will provide all the information about our production, sales, and even the environment.

"We include all the opportunities in South Sudan regarding refineries, pipelines and other facilities. All this information is now available, and everyone will have access to it."

The report outlines the ministry's infrastructure plans, including refineries and storage depots and provides insight into how the country has advanced its sales of crude oil on the open market. South Sudan recognizes that the sector needs to continue to develop with buyer and market diversification, and a better understanding of global economics and pricing analysis. The ministry is aiming to establish on-line communications with global oil markets and the main world crude oil pricing center, Platts in London.

The release of the report follows closely the announcement of the country's first environmental audit of all operating oilfields. This will assist in rehabilitation efforts and prevent future problems. The ministry's exploration and production department is at the same time engaged in promoting new blocks ready for international investors looking for lucrative opportunities.

The aim of this one, and future Marketing Reports is to provide comprehensive information which clearly explains the monetization of South Sudan' crude oil. The emphasis is on transparency and full compliance with the country's legislative requirements for information disclosure.

The Petroleum Ministry has also improved its website, which contains detailed information about the current oil-producing blocks, as well as the day to day operation of the department. All the information that investors may need is now available, including all the financial information dating from 2011, the country's independence.

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