Ital­ian oil firm said to bribe of­fi­cials

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - WORLD -

KAM­PALA: Ugan­dan of­fi­cials were prob­a­bly bribed to sup­port a bid by the Ital­ian oil ma­jor ENI for con­trol of half of the coun­try’s crude de­posits, ac­cord­ing to a diplo­matic cable seen yes­ter­day.

In a De­cem­ber 2009 cable, re­leased by Wik­iLeaks, US Am­bas­sador to Uganda Jerry Lanier said an ex­ec­u­tive from An­glo-Ir­ish Tul­low, who op­posed the ENI bid, told him the Ital­ians were try­ing to pull off a “cor­rupt back-door deal”.

At the time, Tul­low and Canada’s Her­itage Oil con­trolled all of the un­tapped crude in Uganda’s Lake Al­bert basin, now es­ti­mated at roughly 2 bil­lion bar­rels.

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