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The East African : Oct 20th 2014
4 POWER GAMES IN THE PARTY Checkmate: How Jacqueline outsmarted Museveni in CEC Whateve≥ my husband Mbabazi is being punished fo≥, p≥esident has been doing too, she tells meeting By MICHAEL WAKABI The EastAfrican against his party’s secretary-general and erstwhile soulmate Amama Mbabazi was temporarily stopped in its tracks this week after Jacqueline Mbabazi, chairperson of the NRM Women’s League, raised fundamental questions about the basis for the witchhunt against her husband. Mr Mbabazi, who was P sacked as prime minister by President Museveni a month ago, has been the subject of much speculation as he has remained silent about his plans amid accusations that he was running a clandestine campaign to oppose the head of state in the 2016 elections. Mrs Mbabazi’s protest came during a meeting of the National Resistance Movement’s Central Executive Committee (CEC) that sat on Thursday night but was subsequently adjourned to Saturday. The meeting had been called to discuss fissures and indiscipline in the ruling party’s ranks as well as to pass a resolution to field President Museveni as the sole candidate in the NRM primaries for the presidential contest in 2016. Solution to impasse It was also supposed to find a solution to an impasse over the party register, which is in Mr Mbabazi’s custody, and which he has allegedly refused to surrender. While it has been proposed that a new register be compiled, this option faces legal hurdles as the validity of such a replacement can easily be challenged in court. The meeting was expected to galvanise efforts to dislodge Mr Mbabazi from the influential SG position, a move considered necessary to prevent him from accessing the NRM’s grassroots structures. Most delegates at the meet- ing declined to comment on the goings-on citing an undertaking to keep the pro- resident Yoweri Museveni’s relentless offensive GOOSE ’N GANDER A delegate recalled Mrs Mbabazi’s argument thus: “Mrs Mbabazi reasoned that there was nothing on record to show that the SG had declared his candidature against Museveni or that he was conducting a campaign. Secondly, there was no party candidate at this point in time because the party’s national conference had not met to elect one, and so even if it were true that Mbabazi had intentions of running, he was not contradicting any official position of the party.” ceedings of the meeting confidential until the party released an official statement. However, sources who sought anonymity said the meeting was brought to a near-standstill when a fiery Mrs Mbabazi took to the floor to question the fairness of singling out her husband for disciplinary action while his alleged infractions were no different from what President Museveni has been doing since February. “Mrs Mbabazi reasoned that there was nothing on record to show that the SG had declared his candidature against Museveni or that he was conducting a campaign,” a delegate narrated Mrs Mbabazi’s argument. “Secondly, there was no party candidate at this point in time because the party’s national conference had not met to elect one, and so even if it were true that Mbabazi had intentions of running, he was not contradicting any official position of the party.” Mrs Mbabazi then played “Mbabazi can hang on as SG until the party’s national conference next year” A senior NRM member The EastAfrican NEWS OCTOBER 18-24,2014 Oil fi≥ms set to adopt bette≥ technologies By HALIMA ABDALLAH Special Correspondent OIL COMPANIES in Uganda intend to deploy new extraction technologies that could improve recoveries and earn the country $500 million more annually. The polymer injection horizontal vent technology enhances oil recovery while improving wells’ drilling efficiency, according to the oil firms. “We can enhance the oil recovery by 25 per cent,” said Total E&P general manager Francois Rafin. “It is a very substantial increase. “We are proposing to our partners to inject polymers to better squeeze the oil from the reservoirs.” Combined with the cur- rent ratio of 31 per cent, Uganda’s recovery rates could cross the 50 per cent line. Going by initial estimates, Uganda could earn close to $2 billion annually. Polymer injection uses water that is injected into the wells to raise the oil closer to the point of extraction, making possible recovery of oil that would have otherwise remained in the ground using conventional extraction methods. Mr Rafin said that, be- Jacqueline Mbabazi, NRM Women’s League chair. Picture: File her trump card when she argued that if meeting party supporters as President Museveni has been doing and declaring presidential ambitions was a violation of party rules, then the president and the movers of his single candidature resolution at the party retreat in Kyankwanzi last February were equally guilty and should be subject to the same disciplinary proceedings. It was at this point that the meeting was adjourned to allow more time for digestion of the issues raised. The meeting was preceded by choreographed denunciations of Mr Mbabazi, with various constituencies calling for his removal from the SG position, an office whose significance President Museveni has recently moved to dilute by assigning some of its functions to youthful aides. It was reported this week that the NRM Youth League had sent a petition to party chairman President Museveni asking him to sack Mr Mbabazi from the SG posi- tion allegedly because he had failed to organise the party and attract new members. In Luwero, 60 kilometres north of Kampala, district chairman Abdul Nadduli was reported to have ordered a church not to host Mr Mbabazi, who had been invited to preside over a function there. Caused some realignment While these actions have caused some degree of realignment within the NRM’s support base, according to commentators within the party, a major obstacle for President Museveni is that only a national conference can dislodge Mr Mbabazi from the SG position. “Apart from wearing him down and causing him public embarrassment, if he chooses not to resign, Mbabazi can hang on as SG until the party’s national conference next year,” a senior figure in the party hierarchy observed. “That is the organ that elected him, and only it can remove him.” sides the technology, recoverability of oil depends on the field depth, oil viscosity, reservoir quality, its consolidation, porosity and permeability. His remarks point towards convergence between the government and the oil companies over choice of extraction technology and associated costs. According to data from the Petroleum Exploration and Production Department (PEPD, Uganda’s oil and gas volumes have almost doubled from 3.5 billion barrels to 6.5 billion. However, recoverable volumes increased only marginally from 1.2 to 1.4 billion barrels, representing a recovery rate of 34 per cent, which, while above the global average of 17 per cent to 30 per cent, was still below the potential of the fields’ productivity. The improved ratios are the result of a better understanding of the nature of the petroleum reservoirs in Uganda following appraisal work that the oil companies have been conducting. Total E&P, Tullow Oil Uganda and China National Offshore Oil Company An oil exploration rig at Lake Albert. Picture: File CNOOC are the current licence holders in the country. Last year, the government issued a production licence for King Fisher well, which has 635 million barrels of oil but only 196 million barrels, or 31 per cent, is recoverable using conventional methods. It is believed that more oil could be recovered using polymer injection. High recovery rate “While starting with 31 per cent is not low by international standards, CNOOC has undertaken to employ enhanced oil recovery on this field and, depending on the results, it is possible that we could get more than 31 per cent,” said PEPD head Ernest Rubondo. Mr Rubondo gave the glo- bal average recovery rate as about 30 per cent, although some oil fields in countries such as Norway and the United States have achieved figures as high as 60 per cent using the methods proposed for Uganda. The technology includes use of gas injection, steam flooding and injection, polymer flooding and microbial injection. The companies also plan to do horizontal drilling, which increases the efficiency of the reservoir while protecting the environment because it reduces the number of drilling points. The practice has been that wells are dug vertically into the earth. Horizontal drilling involves digging vertically and then, at a certain point, horizontally beneath the earth. This technology enables shopping for oil at every point accessed. “Using this method, you can multiply the projections by five times,” said Mr Rafin. However, going by the Production Sharing Agreements (PSA) that the government has signed with oil companies, using this technology is likely to increase their recoverable costs.
Oct 13th 2014
Oct 27th 2014