China’s state-owned oil company CNOOC has landed a $2 billion (£1.23 billion) deal to develop a field in Uganda.
Ugandan Junior Energy Minister Peter Lokeris said: “It is a milestone towards making us self-sustaining as far as oil and gas production is concerned.
“The contractor among other responsibilities will be responsible for developing the Kingfisher oil field which should become operational in the next four years from now,” he told AFP.
The East African nation estimates it has oil reserves of 3.5 billion barrels, although the output from the Chinese operation is expected to be modest, at least to begin with.
Mr Lokeris continued: “We expect to produce about 40,000 barrels of oil per day once the Kingfisher well is fully developed and operational.”
China has invested heavily in African oil to help quench its growing thirst for oil. A recent study found that Chinese oil imports will hit $500 billion (£319 billion) by 2020.