KAMPALA Jan 11 Uganda and Tanzania have awarded
a contract for designing a crude oil pipeline running through
both east African countries to U.S. based firm Gulf Interstate
Engineering, an official document seen by Reuters on Wednesday
Early last year, Uganda agreed with Tanzania to jointly
develop a $3.55 billion pipeline to help ship Uganda's crude to
The 1,445 km pipeline will start in landlocked Uganda's
western region, where crude reserves were discovered in 2006,
and terminate at Tanzania's Indian Ocean seaport of Tanga.
The statement by Uganda's Ministry of Energy and Mineral
Development showed the contract for the Front-End Engineering
Design (FEED) was awarded to Houston, U.S.-based Gulf Interstate
Engineering last month.
Among the tasks, the firm's contract involves helping with
"project construction specifications," a plan for project
execution, the implementation schedule and writing bid documents
for a process to select a contractor to develop the pipeline.
Uganda estimates overall crude reserves at 6.5 billion
barrels, while recoverable reserves are seen at between 1.4
billion and 1.7 billion barrels.
French oil major Total, has said it is willing to
fund the project but has not stated whether it wants to fully or
partially own it.
Total owns fields in Uganda alongside China's CNOOC
and London-listed Tullow Oil, which also
operates in Kenya.
Gulf is expected to do the work in eight months, paving the
way for work on the pipeline to begin, with crude production
expected to start in 2020.
(Reporting by Elias Biryabarema; Editing by George Obulutsa and