Uganda, Congo Plan to Better Coordinate Oil Activities on Border

KAMPALA, Uganda (Dow Jones)

Uganda and Congo have signed a memorandum of understanding aimed at coordinating oil exploration and development in the oil-rich Lake Albertine rift located along their common border, Uganda's junior energy and minerals minister told Dow Jones Newswires Monday.

Peter Lokeris said in an interview that the memorandum, signed by Congo's minister of hydro carbons and his Ugandan counterpart in charge of energy and minerals development last month, will pave the way for greater cooperation in the Lake Albertine rift between the two countries.

"The Memorandum of Understanding spells out the framework which will guide the cooperation at all levels in the oil exploration, exploitation and marketing," he said.

According to Lokeris, this expected to ease the tensions and suspicions that have been cropping up between the two countries over oil exploration since 2006.

The friction almost sparked a war in 2007 after the Congolese government accused U.K.-based Tullow Oil PLC (TLW.LN) and Heritage Oil PLC (HOIL.LN) of enlisting the support of the Ugandan army to violate its borders and carry out illegal oil exploration on its side of the rift.

In 2007, Congolese troops attacked a Heritage exploration vessel on Lake Albert killing a company contract worker and accused the vessel of violating its the border.

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