Oil and Gas


His conscience is clear that, look, we are into Oil and Gas all we want from it is to help us use it to go green, it’s for the best not for the worst.

By Guest Writer

OPINION: The history of mining is traced far back between 20,000 to 40,000 years ago. The oldest mine is traced in the South of Africa and the earliest smelting taking place in the current Egypt.

According to my study, given Africa’s knowledge and expertise this perhaps is one of those that might have prompted whites enslave black Africans in a quest to exploit their mineral potential using the skilled slave laborers from Africa.

This is next to the truth as data has it that free slave labor acted as the backbone of the industrial revolution in Europe and USA.

Since the industrial revolution, humans (Europeans) have ejected plentiful amounts of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.

We ran from 12˚C during the Last Glacial Maximum (it simply means a major climatic event) it occurred about 20000 years ago to slowly raising to 13.8˚C. Since 1880 in the industrial age to 2015, the last check was increase to 0.6˚ degrees making it 14.4˚C. This rate of warming is said to be 50 times faster than the rate of warming during the previous 21,000 years.

110 years ago, a New Zealand newspaper “The Rodney and Otamatea Times” in 1912, wrote warning the ones who are warning Africa today, I quote “The furnaces of the world are now burning about 2,000,000,000 tons of coal a year. When this is burned, uniting with oxygen, it adds about 7,000,000,000 tons of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere yearly.”

In the Eighteen hundreds, the whites found Africans using wind energy to winnow millet, maize extra (wind energy), we would use sun to dry our harvests, clothes (solar), and extra. After the mighty whites came, they told us that this was a backward approach, their output of the industrial revolution wanted a market from Africans, we agreed.

Today they are telling us to go back to our ancient African ways and turn away from their petrol and diesel energies, after their careless attempts and the amassing of wealth. No wonder it’s modern, it’s no crime if you are quoted saying Africa is not part of the greenhouse effect equation.

Uganda is among the first countries in Africa to innovate around electric automobiles, and the country’s president’s efforts towards this comes at a time when the country is in the development phase of oil and gas.

Uganda’s vision under the leadership of president Museveni is letting us clearly see that a country can innovate, take advantage of oil and gas wealth to spearhead green development across diverse sectors.

Norway is one of the leading country exporting fossil fuel products in the world and with hopes to ramp up even more of their oil and gas exports but still it seems to be ahead of many countries in the world on climate mitigation measures, it boasts the highest rate of electric vehicle sales, is the first country to ban deforestation and prohibit products that violate the said ban.

President Museveni in the recent state of the nation address, he and his scientist spent time explaining Uganda’s journey to manufacturing of electric automobiles by a state owned Kiira Motors that will champion efforts to greening the country and East Africa at large in the locomotive sector.

His conscience is clear that, look, we are into Oil and Gas all we want from it is to help us use it to go green, it’s for the best not for the worst.

I concur with the president that, African’s can innovate their own ways to use fossil fuels for other purposes that lower its effects and decarbonization.

It’s factual that it’s hard to build Africa without its own manufactured steel if we hope to run away from wood building materials. It’s hard to control the appetite of Africa’s domestic and industrial wood fuel if we do not take advantage of environmentally friendly LPG, LNG.

For instance the population growth rate of Uganda is over 2.9% and the demand for timber is slightly higher than the population growth rate by 1% making it 4% annually.

Estimates indicate that by 2001, government forest reserves had lost about 740,000 ha to deforestation, representing a 35% loss of forest cover.

Approximately 25 million tons of wood fuel are consumed annually in Uganda, per capita forest area will decline from 0.3 hectare as was in 1991 to 0.1 hectare by 2025.

African forests can absorb more than 150 tonnes of co2 per ha and only Congo tropical rainforest absorbs more than 600 million metric tonnes of CO2  annually, forests can absorb about 16 billion  metric tonnes of CO2  annually.

Only the Central African region lost about 6 million hectares of humid forests since 2001 to products we can substitute by Liquefied gas in domestic cooking/ industrial, wood construction materials with steel that the environmentally friendly LNG/ LPG can process.

Direct Reduced Iron plants powered by natural gas as their feedstock are environmentally friendly (LNG, LPG) in processing iron ore to fine steel.

During the industrial age, the west were highly dependent on coal which produced their steel, this exonerates the authenticity of the New Zealand newspaper about the coal burning that was authored on the 14. August 1912.

In this age we should be set to use environmentally friendly Liquefied Natural gases and Petroleum Gas. Almost all the 10 years old steel mills in China are coal based.


Uganda, through its efforts in the development phase of oil and gas, has embarked on the extensive improvement of the infrastructure in the whole of the Albertine Region (oil region) and other parts of the country.

It is estimated by the World Economic Forum that a dollar spent on infrastructure generates an economic return of between 5%-25%. Environmentally it has been proven that by paving infrastructure it can reduce greenhouse gases emission by up to 2%, vehicles can reduce about 2% to 5% in fuel consumption.

For instance until the commissioning of Kaiso Tonya road in 2015, Bunyoro sub region (the oil region) on its soil had only about 10 to 20kms of paved national road (from River Kafu to Hoima Town – along Hoima Busunju road) excluding a few kms in two areas that were slightly urban at that time.

In a period of seven years the region that had about 20kms of paved national road on its land in 2015 has rapidly registered the addition of about 780km by 2022 and counting, an average of 110kms has been paved in the oil region annually since 2015 which is in line with the National Development Plan and Vision 2040 targets.


This is a new innovation that has left the UK scratching heads proposing a $1B fund into CSS. This technology can offer CO2 capture and storage in sectors such as upstream oil and gas production, cement, and also facilitate the production of low-carbon hydrogen.

Recently I quote President Museveni “No country can fight climate change alone” so, in good faith the west can offer financial support to fund CCS in African countries due to the fact that it helps us all. Africa cannot stay poor at the expense of those who exploited their wealth carelessly since the industrial age.

Norway, an oil and gas producing country, is leading almost the whole world on new technologies in decarbonizing such as carbon capture and storage (CCS), electric vehicles (EVs) and hydrogen.

Africa given its role in decarbonizing the globe and its place in the greenhouse effect reserves a moral stand to be crowdfunded to develop such innovative infrastructures to pave the way for sustainable mineral exploitation for accelerated economic growth.

Huge projects such as Yamal LNG under Novatek in Russia are securing international certification for underground carbon capture and storage. Geological surveys in areas of Obskiy and Tadebyayakhinskiy have proved capacity to store more than 1.2 Billion tonnes of CO2.

CCS’s and related innovations should be one of the priority areas for world’s climate action, they should be identified as an important measure to the development of the mining industry in the modern world. This innovation can remarkably play a role in decarbonizing the mining and processing sectors.

A copy of this opinion can also be got in New Vision paper.

The author is Eng. Asiimwe Jonard, Mining and Petroleum Engineer and the Executive Director, Institute of Mining Metallurgical and Petroleum Engineers Uganda (IMMPE).

Disclaimer: We as UG Reports Media LTD welcome any opinion by any one if it’s of constructive use to the Development of Uganda. All the expressions and opinions in this write-up are not of UG Reports Media LTD but for the author of the article.

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