ENTEBBE, UGANDA. The Petroleum Authority of Uganda (PAU) today welcomed Hon. Hon. Phiona Nyamutoro, the recently appointed State Minister for Mineral Development to its offices at the Petroleum House in Entebbe.

“There is evidence of passion and dedication to deliver results from the staff I have met and this says a lot about the Authority’s leadership. The PAU also has realistic goals, which can be achieved despite some of the challenges noted, which is commendable,” the minister said.

Mr Ernest Rubondo, the Executive Director, PAU welcomed the Minister, who is currently visiting the different departments and agencies under the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development as part of her induction.

“We are delighted to receive you and look forward to working with you,” he said during the visit.

The Authority apprised the minister of PAU’s regulatory role in the oil and gas sector; the legal and regulatory framework within which it operates; its mission of creating lasting value for Ugandans while attracting investors; its mandate, organisational structure and staff composition; and the petroleum value chain. The Authority informed the minister that it is well within its vision to be the leading petroleum regulatory agency, and received the award for being the best petroleum regulatory agency in Africa in 2023.

The minister received information about the PAU’s key regulatory areas. These are resource management; cost monitoring; petroleum data management; health, safety, security, social and environment management; and national content, fostering the participation of Ugandans in the oil and gas sector, and linkages with other sectors of the economy.

Hon. Nyamutoro thanked the Authority for the warm welcome, noting that this induction differed from most.

During the induction, Hon. Nyamutoro got a snapshot of the ongoing development projects, and the companies involved, from the licensed companies, their contractors and sub-contractors. The Authority also provided an overview of the progress on the regulation in the five areas. Most notably the efforts the Authority is taking to protect the environment, such as coordinating the implementation of the National Oil Spill Plan; and the social impact aspects of the projects, including overseeing smooth land acquisition.

She also learnt of the strides made in national content where 3,932 contracts valued at US $ 2.012 billion were awarded to Ugandans to provide goods and services by December 2023. US $ 19.94 million of this went to community-based companies. When the sector is not a mass employer, as of December 2023, 90% of the people employed in the projects are Ugandans (13,067). Of this number, 4,595 are from the host communities.

The minister also learnt during the induction that Uganda’s stance on a just energy transition allows the country to exploit its oil and gas resources while protecting the environment. This gave her a global outlook of the sector in light of the need for energy transition from biomass to clean energy, and climate change considerations.

Mr Rubondo stressed the good relationship with the Ministry, which allows for more regular updates on the sector beyond the formal annual report.

“The Authority sends quarterly reports to the ministry, which make it easy for the Minister to include information on the oil and gas sector in most of her communication on the industry,” he said.

Hon. Nyamutoro committed to supporting the Authority and building on the good relationship with the ministry.

“After what I have heard and seen today, I am confident that Uganda

will achieve its goal of being one of the pilot countries that won’t suffer the ‘oil curse’,” she concluded.