Chinese state media say one of the country’s largest national oil companies is in negotiations to invest in Uganda’s first ever oil refinery.
The China Daily said Thursday that the state-owned China National Offshore Oil Corp (CNOOC) plans to invest in the project, which will be located in the Lake Albert basin in Western Uganda.
The paper said French oil company Total and Britain’s Tullow Oil also plan to participate in the estimated $1.5 billion project. It said the parties are still discussing how the investment will be divided.
The refinery, which is expected to start operations by 2015, aims to achieve 200,000 barrels of daily production.
On Tuesday, Tullow announced the finalization of a sale of two-thirds of its Ugandan oil stakes to Total and CNOOC. The deal will allow for the development of three large oil blocks in the Lake Albert basin, which will feed the refinery.
Crude oil production is expected to start in 2013. The Ugandan government estimates reserves at its oil fields in the western Albertine region to be about 2.5 billion barrels.
The developments come as China continues to expand its trade ties and influence with resource-rich African countries.