The Petroleum Authority of Uganda (PAU) has received a copy of the report released today by Human Rights Watch (HRW) titled “Our Trust is Broken: Loss of Land and Livelihoods for Oil Development in Uganda”.

This report is biased and follows the pattern of similar attempts to discredit Uganda’s  national petroleum program on grounds that are not based on available information or engagement with Ugandan institutions. Even where detailed responses are provided, such as is admitted in the HRW report, facts are ignored and replaced with a false narrative that the oil and gas developments are bad for Uganda’s national interest, pose a danger to the environment and should be defunded.

The more balanced situation, which the report fails to give fair treatment to, is that Uganda is working to build a one-of-a kind oil and gas sector based on the highest standards of care and focused on creating lasting value for its people. From the project’s conception, the world’s leading experts have been working to create a project that seeks to limit impact on the environment and mitigate against the effects of climate change while also seeking to harness the significant economic opportunity that this project provides the country, which has the possibility to transform the economic futures of millions of East Africans. These aspects, and the realities of the socio-economic impacts the project brings, are unfairly ignored by the HRW report.

Government and the project partners are committed to ensuring the projects are sustainable. Mr Ali Ssekatawa, the Director Legal and Corporate Affairs at the Petroleum Authority of Uganda said: “Uganda’s resettlement and compensation policies are a model in the region and meet the highest standards in the world. Together with our partners we are near completion of all pending obligations in the compensation and resettlement process.

“We would like to invite anyone who has questions about compensation to come see for themselves what is being done. The legal action taken by activists in France, and reports such as the one issued by Human Rights Watch, are a distraction and it will be shown to be frivolous once all the facts are known.”

Mr. Ssekatawa emphasized that Uganda’s government is working to build a responsible future for its citizens and is committed to achieving this vision. “We welcome honest contributions on how we can work together to make Uganda a safe, prosperous economically and environmentally sustainable country,” he said.

Errors in the report include details on who is affected and their compensation, as well as social measures taken by the partners including the Government of Uganda. This information is public and easily accessible. We ask the public to ignore the HRW report and treat it as malicious and misguided. Facts about the oil sector can be obtained from the Petroleum Authority of Uganda website (

For further information, and the opportunity to engage on the progress of Uganda’s oil and gas developments, please contact Ms. Gloria Sebikari at   or +256 752 628 754 or

Notes for Editors:

Uganda’s Albertine Graben region has been known since the 1920s to have potential for petroleum. The first commercial discovery was confirmed in 2006, and to date, approximately 1.4 billion barrels of economically recoverable oil is estimated to be present in the area, which lies on the country’s western border with the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

The more than $10bn being invested in the joint venture will be used to develop several upstream facilities for the Tilenga and Kingfisher projects, as well as for the building of the East African Crude Oil Pipeline (EACOP). The first barrels are scheduled to be be pumped out in 2025, with the subsequent peak production rate intended to reach around 230,000 barrels per day. This will make Uganda a bigger producer than some African OPEC countries. About 60,000 barrels per day will be refined in the country to supply the local market, with the rest exported.

In April and May 2021, the Governments of Uganda and Tanzania, CNOOC Uganda Limited, and TotalEnergies E&P signed agreements on EACOP, which will run 1,445km from Lake Albert to the port of Tanga in neighbouring Tanzania. These agreed that EACOP’s shareholders are TotalEnergies (62 per cent), Uganda National Oil Company (UNOC) (15 per cent), CNOOC (8 per cent) and the Tanzania Petroleum Development Corporation (TPDC) (15% per cent).

The Petroleum Authority Uganda (PAU) is the official regulatory agency for all these Upstream and Midstream petroleum developments. It is tasked to ensure the development creates lasting value for not only the investors but for Ugandans, while ensuring standards in environment, social protection and health and safety, among others, are met throughout the development of the industry.

During the next 25 years, it has been calculated that this development will provide a boost of more than $40bn to the Ugandan economy, bringing a potentially transformative impact for many Ugandans and the country’s economy at large. When production is at its peak, the Uganda government will receive an anticipated $2 billion a year in revenue from the development.

To ensure the economic benefit from the project’s construction is spread widely, Uganda has set National Content Development targets. These mandate that at least 40 per cent of the amount spent remains within the country’s economy through the use of Ugandan goods and services and by training Ugandans to undertake the work. The Government is also strengthening links between the new oil sector and existing parts of the economy, such as agriculture, tourism, manufacturing, and education. As a result of the Government’s initiatives, it is calculated there will be in total an $8billion boost to local businesses during the four-year construction period.

Furthermore, a number of initiatives, including establishment of the Uganda Petroleum Fund, have been established to facilitate economic diversity and impact, and an ongoing system put in place with TotalEnergies and its partners to ensure compensation for all local people impacted by land purchases resulting from the development. The complex land acquisition processes are being undertaken in line with all laws and regulations, and in compliance with the International Finance Corporation’s Performance Standards and Equator Principles. These require prior and informed consent, together with adequate and timely compensation, to those people affected by the project. Strict penalties, and improved compensation packages, have been implemented in any cases of delayed payment that resulted from the operational challenges resulting from the disruption of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The latest technological innovations are being used to ensure Uganda’s oil projects generate the lowest carbon footprint possible, ensuring that together the projects have been classified as falling within the category of ‘low emission’. The carbon dioxide equivalent emission per barrel of oil produced will be in the range of 20-45 kgCO2e. This is well below the global average of 70-100 kgCO2e.


In addition, a significant reforestation operation, which will be part-paid for by revenue generated by the oil development, is underway, led by the Uganda Wildlife Authority and the National Forestry Authority. This will limit emissions from tree cutting in the country. According to the 2019 Uganda First Biennial Update Report to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, Uganda’s emissions in 2015 stood at 90 million tons (mT) of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e). Unlike in developed countries where the major source of GHG emissions come from the burning of fossil fuels for electricity and industry use, Uganda’s GHGs are dominated by agriculture, forestry and other land uses (known as AFOLU), which account for approximately 86 per cent of GHG emissions. The reforestation project, as well as other such initiatives being concluded by the Ugandan government to address emissions from these sectors, are part of a parcel of commitments by Uganda to meet the strong commitments made by the country at the recent COP26 held in Glasgow, United Kingdom, to combat climate change.

Uganda presently stands 132nd out of 221 nations in the Global Carbon Atlas with present annual emissions of 4.9 MtCO2. France is 21st with 277 MtCO2, the United Kingdom 17th with 330 MtCO2, the United States 2nd with 4,713 MtCO2 and China 1st with10,688 MtCO2.  Uganda presently stands 171st for GDP per capita according to the latest International Monetary Fund World Economic Outlook. France is 24th, the United Kingdom 22nd, the United States 5th and China 63rd.

For further information, or to come and see the situation around Uganda’s oil and gas developments, please contact Ms. Gloria Sebikari at  or +256 752 628 754