Uganda set to back Tullow bid
Published 05/02/2010 | 05:00
Uganda's government is "tending" toward approval of Tullow Oil's offer to purchase Heritage Oil's assets in the East African country, Ugandan government minister Peter Lokeris said yesterday.
"A few conditions are remaining, otherwise we are tending toward approval," Mr Lokeris said in a phone interview from the capital, Kampala. Discussions are still being held on "taxation and how we are to handle monopoly". Mr Lokeris didn't say when the discussions would be completed.
Uganda's backing for Tullow would end Italian company Eni's $1.5bn bid for Heritage's 50pc interests in the Lake Albert region. Irish-founded Tullow, which already has stakes in the blocks, is seeking full ownership, derailing Eni's efforts to secure a foothold in Uganda.
Energy Minister Hilary Onek last month provisionally backed Eni's offer for the Heritage assets, countering an attempt by Tullow to block the sale. Further discussions about the dispute were held when Tullow officials, led by chief executive Aidan Heavey when he visited the country.
About 700 million barrels of resources have been found in the Lake Albert Rift Basin and another 1.5 billion barrels remain to be discovered, according to company estimates.