Uganda–Kenya Crude Oil Pipeline (UKCOP)

From Global Energy Monitor
This article is part of the Global Fossil Infrastructure Tracker, a project of Global Energy Monitor.

Uganda–Kenya Crude Oil Pipeline (UKCOP) was a proposed oil pipeline in East Africa that is now presumed cancelled.[1] [2]


The pipeline would run from Hoima, Uganda, to Lamu Port, Kenya.[2]

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Project Details

  • Operator: Tullow Oil, Total SA, CNOOC[1][2]
  • Proposed capacity:
  • Length: 1500 kilometers
  • Status: Cancelled[2]
  • Start Year:


The Uganda–Kenya Crude Oil Pipeline (UKCOP) was a proposed pipeline to transport crude oil from Uganda's oil fields in the Northern and Western Regions to the Kenyan port of Lamu on the Indian Ocean. Along the way, the pipeline would have picked up more crude oil from the South Lokichar Basin and other oil fields in northwestern Kenya and delivered it to Lamu for export. South Sudan had also planned to construct a pipeline from its Unity State, linking to the UKCOP as an alternative to its only current oil export route through Port Sudan in its northern neighbor Sudan.[3]

The pipeline underwent a feasibility study by the Japanese company Toyota Tsusho, which estimated that the project would have cost $4.7 billion and would require several more pumping stations than a regular pipeline due to the crude oil's physical properties. The type of crude being transported through the pipeline would require heating to keep it in its liquid form, which would have made it the longest heated pipeline in the world.[4]

In March 2016, the presidents of Tanzania and Uganda jointly announced plans to build a competing pipeline, the Uganda–Tanzania Crude Oil Pipeline.[5] With these new developments, Kenya is expected to go alone in building its own pipeline from Lochichar to Port Lamu, the Kenya Crude Oil Pipeline. Kenya's pipeline may also extend to South Sudan through the Lamu Port-South Sudan (LAPSSET) Pipeline.[6][7]

However, cost, security, and geopolitical issues between partnering nations ultimately shelved the UKCOP proposal. Instability in the Northern region of Kenya concerned its national and corporate partners, while Uganda may have looked to separate its dependence on Kenya by striking a closer relationship with Tanzania. Total, who is a major financier of oil exploration and development in Uganda, may have also been influential in Uganda's decision to build a pipeline with Tanzania, as it had openly criticized UKCOP's security and cost issues.[8]

There have been no development updates since 2016, and the project is presumed to be cancelled.

Articles and resources


  1. 1.0 1.1 Uganda–Kenya Crude Oil Pipeline (UKCOP), Wikipedia, accessed September 2017
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Engineer, Kenya (2020-09-17). "Uganda drops Uganda-Kenya Crude Oil Pipeline (UKCOP) project". Kenya Engineer. Retrieved 2022-02-22.
  3. Biryabarema, Elias (25 June 2013). "Uganda agrees to plan for oil pipeline to new Kenya port". Reuters. Retrieved 9 April 2014.
  4. Brendon J. Cannon, "Drive for oil exports pushes East Africa pipeline development", Oil & Gas Journal, March 7, 2016
  5. Fred Ojambo, and Joseph Burite (1 March 2016). "Tanzania Agrees With Uganda to Run Oil Pipeline to Its Coast". Retrieved 8 March 2016.
  6. Senelwa, Kennedy (5 March 2016). "Kenya to go it alone in oil pipeline project". The EastAfrican. Nairobi. Retrieved 8 March 2016.
  7. Wachira, George (8 March 2016). "What Uganda-Tanzania crude oil pipeline pact means for Kenya". Business Daily Africa. Nairobi. Retrieved 8 March 2016.
  8. Brendon J. Cannon, The struggle for East Africa’s oil, Anadolu Agency, June 6, 2017

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External resources

External articles

Wikipedia also has an article on Uganda–Kenya Crude Oil Pipeline (UKCOP). This article may use content from the Wikipedia article under the terms of the GFDL.