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Gulf Interstate Engineering awarded contract to design Uganda-Tanzania oil pipeline

East African countries Uganda and Tanzania have awarded a contract to US-based Gulf Interstate Engineering (GIE) to design a crude oil pipeline running through both countries.

The front-end engineering design contract involves helping with project construction specifications, a plan for project execution and schedule, and drafting bid documents to select the developing contractor, Reuters reports.

GIE is expected finish its part in the project in eight months, after which construction of the pipeline can begin, with crude production projected to start in 2020, Reuters reports.

In early 2016, Uganda and Tanzania agreed to develop a $3.55 billion (€3.38bn), 1,445km pipeline to transfer crude from landlocked Uganda’s western region to Tanzanian coastal city of Tanga for shipping to international markets.

Crude reserves in western Uganda were discovered in 2006, and the country estimates its total oil reserves to clock at 6.5 billion barrels, of which 1.4-1.7 billion barrels are recoverable.

French oil giant Total, which owns oil fields in Uganda, has offered to fund the project, but has not made clear whether it wants to own the pipeline fully or partially.

This article was written by Ilari Kauppila, editor at Fluid Handling International