First oil from TotalEnergies’ huge Tilenga oilfield in Uganda is at risk of being delayed if an associated $4 billion refinery project is not sanctioned by mid-2023, according to the East African nation’s energy minister.

Uganda aims to build a 60,000 barrels per day refinery fed by all the oil produced from CNOOC International’s Kingfisher field and topped up with crude from Tilenga.

The bulk of Tilenga’s output of about 190,000 bpd is destined to be exported to Tanga port in Tanzania via the controversial $5 billion, 1443-kilometre East African Crude Oil Pipeline (EACOP).