The Oil for Development programme in Uganda

Norway has assisted Uganda in developing the country’s petroleum sector since the 1980s. Onshore commercial discoveries of oil were made in 2006 in the Lake Albert area.

Since then, several OfD country programmes, typically with a duration of three to five years, have been completed.

The current cooperation programme, which started in December 2018, is comprehensive and comprises resource, safety, environment and revenue management.

Key achievements of programme activities

Enhanced legal and regulatory framework

  • The OfD Programme supports the Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development (MoFPED) in developing a Fiscal Rule under the Public Finance Management Act, customised to the Ugandan economy, including expected oil revenues. The Ministry is now finalising a draft proposal which includes quantitative fiscal targets to guide fiscal policy over the medium to long term.

  • The OfD Programme supported the authorities in Uganda in developing regulations under the Midstream Act related to the planned East African Crude Oil Pipeline (EACOP) within the areas of fiscal metering, decommissioning and third-party access.

  • The President assented to the new National Environment Act in February 2019 and it came into force in June. Also the Petroleum Waste Regulation came into force in 2019. These regulations are given by Nema under the Petroleum Acts from 2013. Both the Act and the Petroleum Waste Regulations have been developed with support from the Norwegian Environment Agency under the OfD Program.

Increased institutional capacity

  • With assistance from the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate (NPD), the resource authorities in Uganda have increased their competence in assessing reservoir management and field development plans, as well as building simplified reservoir simulation models. It is important that such development plans are approved based on conditions that enable the authorities to supervise and influence the operations also after granting production licences.

  • Within the safety component, the Petroleum Safety Authority (PSA) supported the Ugandan authorities in institutional capacity development in drilling and well operations, pipeline integrity management, occupational health and safety management and auditing technical and operational safety for onshore facilities.
  • The Norwegian Environment Agency (NEA) supported the National Environmental Management Authority (NEMA) with technical advice in the drafting of Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Certificates for the Kingfisher development and the East African Crude Oil Pipeline (EACOP). The programme further supported NEMA in developing and implementing an EIA database where all incoming EIAs are registered. This improves access to relevant documents and facilitates internal work processes including compliance monitoring of the conditions in the certificates.

  • Within the revenue component, oil and gas investments were included in the national accounts for the first time in 2019. The Uganda Bureau of Statistics (UBOS) published the rebased GDP with oil and gas investments, which had a large effect on the gross value added from the mining and quarrying industry. Statistics Norway has contributed to both the collection of investment statistics from the oil and gas sector and the updating of the national accounts system to include the oil sector. In 2019, UBOS also introduced a statistical business register and started working on populating the register. The Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) received assistance in tax audits and tax administration including transfer pricing policy.

  • Officials from NEMA and a District enhanced their capacity on operationalizing national oil spill contingency planning and how to strengthen cooperation between local and national level authorities through a training course arranged by UN Environment in collaboration with NCA, IMO and the International Tanker Owners Pollution Federation.

Increased transparency and accountability

  • The NEA supported authorities in Uganda in their public consultation processes related to the Environmental and Social Impact Studies for the Kingfisher development and the East African Crude Oil Pipeline (EACOP).

  • Uganda’s Cabinet agreed to implement EITI, and a Multi Stakeholder Group was constituted to oversee implementation. The OfD Programme will support initial implementation activities to the extent required.

  • The Natural Resource Governance Institute’s (NRGI’s) capacity development support for vanguard journalists in Uganda has helped journalists produce more data-driven investigative stories. This has revealed licence owners and flagged issues of beneficial ownership and conflicts of interest. The data journalism project has also helped produce up to nine publicly available datasets (via
Published 02.07.2014
Last updated 22.10.2020