The  EAC Petroleum Sector


The Oil and Gas industry development in the East African Community has seen a new frontier open up in the last 10 years. Through advanced geophysical exploration in Burundi, there is a likelihood of harnessing substantial oil in Lake Tanganyika and Rusizi river plan. However, currently, Burundi’s refined oil products are imported from neighbouring Kenya and Tanzania in the neighbouring country-Rwanda, the potential for the hydrocarbon resource lies in the North-Western part of the country and some parts of Lake Kivu.  Tanzania has made substantial gas discoveries on the coastal shores of Songo Island and Mnazi Bay. Commercial exploitation for power generation began in July 2004.  Similarly, in Uganda, Oil’s discovery was finally made in Western Uganda in 2006 after 17 years of exploration.


The petroleum sector in Kenya is organised into three areas: upstream, midstream and downstream.


Uganda’s Petroleum sector is also organised into the upstream, midstream and downstream subsectors.
  • Upstream.
    The earliest reference to oil in Uganda was about an oil seepage near Kibiro on Lake Albert’s shores. The first contribution to evaluating the country’s hydrocarbon potential was E. J Wayland, a Government geologist, who documented numerous hydrocarbon occurrences in the Albertine Graben in the 1920s.
    Uganda’s confirmed petroleum resource base is currently estimated at 6.5 billion barrels of Stock Tank Oil-Initially-In-Place (STOIIP). Of this, between 1.4 to 1.7 billion barrels are estimated to be recoverable.
  • MidstreamUNOC’s two wholly-owned subsidiaries drive the midstream sector; Uganda Refinery Holding Company Limited (URHC) and National Pipeline Company Limited (NPC).


Rwanda has carried out major geophysical and geological surveys in the Lake Kivu region. So far, the country already extracts methane from Lake Kivu, which borders Lake Albert. Like other countries, Rwanda’s Policy has three elements: an upstream component, currently concerned with exploration for possible petroleum resources; the midstream component that deals with infrastructures such as pipelines, depots, and the downstream part related to the importation of refined products.


The Petroleum sector in Tanzania has three elements: the upstream industry, midstream and downstream. The upstream component focusses on oil and gas exploration and production.  So far large deposits of gas fields have been identified off the coast at Songo Songo, and Mnazi Bay and these are in the process of being developed. Current natural gas reserves are estimated to be 2 trillion cubic feet (tcf). The midstream is highly regulated in Tanzania, specifically, pipeline components. For example, before you build a pipeline, you should get all people’s permits and agreements affected by it. The primary modes of transport include trucking and pipeline.
 crude, petroleum products and natural gas pipelines :


Burundi has no local oil or natural gas sources, and neither are there any facilities for oil refining.  However, ongoing studies to explore the potential for hydrocarbons along Lake Tanganyika and Rusizi river indicate some potential for hydrocarbons in the region. Petroleum products are mostly used in industry, power generation in thermal plants and for transportation.

South Sudan

South Sudan contains the third-largest oil reserves in sub-Saharan Africa after Angola and Nigeria, estimated at 3.5 billion barrels. These reserves are found throughout the country, especially in the north, where oil production is concentrated. Currently, production levels stood at over 186,000 barrels per day (bpd).  The two main production areas include Blocks 3 and 7 in Great Upper Nile, operated by Dar Petroleum Operating Company; Blocks 1, 2 and 4 which produces around 52,000 bpd but is projected to be approximately 60,000 bpd. The Ministry of Petroleum has set an ambitious target of 350,000 to 400,000 bpd by the end of 2025.

Petroleum Statistics