Government through the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development has spoken out on the possibility of oil being discovered in Kayunga district.
“There is no oil in Kayunga district,” says Yusuf Masaba, a Communication Specialist at Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development.
This is after Daily Monitor published two articles titled ‘Mad rush for Kayunga Land as government hints at oil exploration’ and ‘Oil prospects excite Kayunga’.
In the articles, it was reported that, ‘Mr. Wilson Mbile Tumushabe Ag. Principal Geologist in the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development said that they received reports that the area is endowed with oil and gas deposits’.
In the second story it was reported that ‘oil deposits according to Mr. Tumushabe are expected in Bbaale County which is located in the cattle corridor’.
Hoewver, the ministry says although the author reported some of the issues presented and discussed during the workshop, ‘he nevertheless went overboard and provided misleading information especially on the existence of oil and gas in Kayunga District.’
In a statement dated July12, 2018, Yusuf Masaba, the Communication Specialist at Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development clarifies as follow;
In June 2018, a team of Government officials from the Directorate of Petroleum under the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development, Oil and Gas Security; Office of the President, National Planning Authority and Uganda National Bureau of Standards held a series of workshops on Local Content Development in the central districts of Mukono, Buikwe, Wakiso and Kayunga. These workshops focused on opportunities of the Country’s Oil and Gas Industry and the role of district local government to foster national participation. They were organised for the technical and political leadership of the respective areas. Journalists from Vision Group, Daily Monitor, Radio One and Radio Simba, among others, were also in attendance.
During the workshops, presentations were made focusing on aspects of Local Content, Security, and standards and accreditation for the Oil and Gas Industry among others.
Following presentations, a number of issues were raised and subsequently addressed by the team.
In particular, a participant rose up and said “I am very sure that there is oil in Kayunga District”, and sought further clarification from the team. This participant raised applause from the participants attending the workshop.
In response Mr. Tumushabe, Ag. Principal Geologist, Ministry of Energy and Development, rejected the allegation regarding the existence of oil and gas in Kayunga District citing the conditions necessary for creation, migration and accumulation of hydrocarbons which do not exist in the area. However, other participants insisted that Lake Kyoga basin extends to Kayunga District.
Mr. Tumushabe then explained that Lake Kyoga basin is one of the potential areas in the country for future petroleum exploration. He also promised that the Ministry will do more follow up and establish the validity of the claims. Nothing was even mentioned on the prospects of oil and gas deposits in any part of the District, including Bbaale County as reported.
The headlines on this subject in the Daily Monitor are therefore unfortunate as they have potential to raise expectations and anxiety in the area. The reporter is reminded to adhere to the principles of professional journalism in order to promote harmony and order in society and the country at large.