Uganda, Congo in Talks to Revive 1990 Joint Oil Pact

KAMPALA Uganda Dec 12, 2007 (Dow Jones Newswires)

Congolese and Ugandan ministers are meeting in Kampala Wednesday to discuss ways in which the two countries can enhance economic cooperation and revive the 1990 joint oil exploration pact following the recent discovery of commercial oil reserves in the Lake Albert valley, Uganda's permanent secretary at the ministry of foreign affairs told Dow Jones Newswires Wednesday.

James Mugume added that apart from the 1990 oil exploration pact, the meeting would also address the security situation along the common border of the two countries and the presence of Ugandan rebels in eastern Congo.

In 1990, Uganda and Congo signed a joint oil exploration pact which outlined how to deal with oil deposits located along the common border of the two countries. However, following Congo's civil wars which started in the late 1990s, the pact hasn't been operational causing disputes between the two countries.

Ugandan government officials added that the pact is expected to be reviewed to bring it to international standards. The Congolese delegation couldn't be reached for an immediate comment.

Since August this year, tensions between Uganda and Congo have been rising over a number of disputes in the oil exploration region. Congo accuses oil exploration companies operating in Uganda of carrying out illegal oil explorations on its side - a charge denied by both Heritage Oil Corp. (HOC.T) and Dublin-listed Tullow Oil (TQW.DB), insisting they are operating oil blocks on the Ugandan side of Lake Albert.

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