Uganda’s ambition to have oil flowing by 2019 could be hampered by lack of skilled human resource in the oil and gas sector.
Honey Malinga, the commissioner Petroleum Exploration and Production Department in the ministry of Energy and Mineral Development told a French investors who had come to scout opportunities in the sector that despite government initiative to train people, the sector remains incapacitated.
Malinga said more skilled local labour is needed in the sector.
“Government has been training youth to fill up the gaps in the growing sector but following the local content law more is still needed,” Malinga said.
Despite investing heavily in infrastructure development as a precursor to the oil flow in Uganda, government is concerned about the labour gap in the sector.
Led by Stephanie Rivoal, the French Ambassador to Uganda, the investors said despite France not possessing any oil fields they have built expertise in the sector.
“Apart from Uganda and France working together on military basis we need to expand to other sectors. Having expertise in the oil and gas sector makes it a priority for investors, said Rivoal.
A number of untapped in opportunities have been highlighted in the sector including the need for more exploration companies to work in the other 60% oil fields that are yet to be drilled.
Recently Uganda issued three more oil exploration licenses to Nigerian and Australian firms as the country steps up efforts to become an oil producer in the next three years.
Oranto Petroleum International Ltd of Nigeria and Armour Energy Limited of Australia are among the first companies to complete negotiations for new Production Sharing Agreements (PSAs).