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Total CEO: need to tame "Lake Albert Crocodiles" to move Uganda project in 2019

Reuters  |  PARIS 

(Reuters) - French and gas Total's said on Thursday that the firm's Ugandan project will be a personal priority this year after setbacks led to a delay on a final investment decision (FID) in 2018.

said during an earnings call that he remained optimistic about the project after several meetings with Uganda's and aimed to ready it for clearance.

The project, which was expected to have been cleared last year, has been delayed due to disagreements over field development strategy, tax disputes and a lack of infrastructure such as a refinery or export pipeline.

"There are many crocodiles in Lake Albert, we need to domesticate the crocodiles before we move forward," Pouyanne quipped during the call, alluding to various difficulties in getting the project off the ground.

"It is a difficult project because it is landlocked. It is a new country to oil, we have to create everything," he said.

Several sticking points have been resolved including a refinery and pipeline issue. Project engineering has been done and some tenders have been issued and prices in terms of costs are acceptable, Pouyanne said.

Total is developing Uganda's first oilfield with China's Production at the estimated 230,000 barrels per day project was expected to start in 2021.

(Reporting by Bate Felix; Editing by Kirsten Donovan)

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Thu, February 07 2019. 19:16 IST