Russia's largest independent crude producer LUKoil has begun talks with the government of Uganda to develop oil fields in the East African country, Dow Jones reported, citing a company spokesman. LUKoil made an investment proposal to Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni when the company's vice president, Andrei Sapozhnikov, visited the country last Thursday. Uganda's government intends to issue licenses to develop five oil fields near Lake Albert later this year. LUKoil said it was interested in the region but had not made yet the final decision on whether to take part in a tender.
The Russian crude producer's foreign projects operator, LUKoil Overseas, confirmed on Monday that the head company was interested in Ugandan projects. "We confirm that the talks were held on Uganda's initiative. The projects are being considered," a spokesman for LUKoil Overseas told RIA Novosti.
U.S. Exxon Mobil Corp and France's Total, which had negotiated with Uganda's Dominion Petroleum Ltd, have also been eyeing Uganda, where three exploration blocks with some 1 billion barrels of oil were recently discovered. Britain's Tullow Oil is currently operating near Lake Albert, and China's CNOOC is planning to join in as a partner.