Oil and Gas Sector Creates 12,000 Jobs in the Albertine

The oil and natural gas sector has so far employed over twelve thousand people during the construction of facilities to get oil out of the ground.

Most jobs, according to the Petroleum Authority were created after the February 2023 Final Investment Decision(FID) by the Joint Ventures Partners in the Lake Albert Development project.

Betty Jackie Namubiru, the Manager of National Content at the Petroleum Authority of Uganda-PAU says the number of expatriates employed in the sector declined as more Ugandans got absorbed.

“It is important to note that 94% of the 12,000 are Ugandans. We hope to hit 160,000 jobs when the construction of facilities is at its peak. And more Ugandans will have more opportunities” said Namubiru.

An Industrial Baseline Survey (IBS) undertaken by Total, Tullow, and CNOOC in 2014 indicated that the Lake Albert Basin Development Project will create between 100,000 to 150,000 jobs through direct, indirect, and induced employment.

The survey said jobs directly linked to the oil project, most at the technician level would range from 11,000 to 15,000.

The latest finding by the Petroleum Authority tally with the Industrial baselines survey as well as the Workforce Skills Development Strategy and Plan (WSDSP) developed by the Government of Uganda with funding from the World Bank.

The NDP III through the Sustainable Development of Petroleum Resources (SDPR) anticipated that the workforce required during the peak period of field development and the construction of midstream infrastructure like pipelines, the refinery will be 161,700 jobs; of which 14,000 will be direct jobs, 42,700 indirect jobs, and 105,000 induced jobs.

Construction of the East African Crude Oil Pipeline, the Refinery, feeder pipelines to the refinery, and central processing facilities at Tilenga and King Fisher projects have not kicked off.

Those according to Namubiru are expected to create more jobs when their construction begins.

Amidst the job boom in the sector, some Ugandans with qualifications in oil and natural gas have complained that it has been hard for them to get hired in the sector.

Namubiru told URN that a good number of Ugandan professionals in the areas of Petroleum Engineering, and geosciences among others have been employed. She said that it is possible that those complaining have not registered on the national oil and gas talent register.

“Whereas the supplier database is for suppliers, we also have a mechanism for Ugandans that are looking for jobs individually to register on the national oil and gas talents register,” Namubiru advised.

In November 2022, the Ministry of Finance’s Budget Monitoring and Accountability Unit (BMAU) found that a total of 7,085 Ugandans were registered. It said 4,724 (93.4%) of registered Ugandan nationals were directly employed.

Dr. Jane Mulemwa, the Chairperson of the Petroleum Authority told URN that the Authority has used the existing law to ensure that the oil companies adhere to requirements to have qualified Ugandans to take up jobs in the sector.

“We have relevant laws that we as regulators can enforce. Without those laws, you would not see what you are seeing,”

She said the companies are allowed to employ foreigners only if there are no Ugandans qualified to take up advertised jobs.

The companies are required to strictly follow the national content law which requires them to provide internships to allow Ugandans to gain skills and experience.

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