Uganda, Congo to Review 1990 Joint Oil Exploration Pact

KAMPALA, Uganda Sep 13, 2007 (Dow Jones Newswires)

Uganda and Congo are to review the 1990 treaty concerning oil exploration and exploitation along their common border in the Lake Albert Valley, Uganda's Ministry of Energy and Minerals said Thursday.

Uganda's minister of energy and minerals will meet his Congolese counterpart in early October to finalize talks on the review of the 1990 cooperation treaty, the ministry said.

In 1990, Uganda and Congo signed a cooperation agreement that sets out the distribution of minerals that lie across the two countries' border. The two countries were carrying out joint studies until the late 1990s, when Uganda invaded Congo.

The agreement needs to be upgraded to international standards, said Daudi Migereko, Uganda's minister in charge of energy and minerals, following the confirmation of commercial oil deposits in the region and to foster economic cooperation between the two countries.

Uganda and Congo's mining ministries will also sign an economic and technical cooperation agreement on geology and metallurgy, the ministry added.

The review of the 1990 agreement was agreed Saturday at a summit in Arusha, Tanzania, by Congo's President Joseph Kabila and his Ugandan counterpart, Yoweri Museveni, who had met to discuss the recent border conflicts in the oil- exploration region between Congo and Uganda.

Since 2006, Heritage Oil Corp. (HOC.T) and Tullow Oil PLC (TQW.DB) have been carrying out work in the Lake Albert Valley to determine the size of oil reserves there.

Joint oil exploration between the two countries is likely to be affected by the political turmoil in Congo's eastern Kivu provinces, analysts say.

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