* Refinery to be doubled to 60,000 bpd from 30,000 bpd two
* Landlocked country weighing pipeline for oil exports
* Production has been delayed over tax, refinery wrangles
(Recasts lead, adds comment from geologist, background, foreign
By George Obulutsa
NAIROBI, June 19 Uganda is aiming for commercial
output of oil by 2016 at the earliest, as the landlocked east
African nation seeks cheaper energy and funds for infrastructure
Explorers struck oil in east Africa's third largest economy
in 2006 and Uganda estimates its crude reserves at 3.5 billion
barrels, but wrangling over taxes and the viability of a local
refinery have stalled production.
Uganda currently transports all of its fuel - imported
primarily through Kenya's Mombasa seaport - in tankers over
several hundred kilometres of road. Officials say the method is
unreliable, costly and damages roads.
Fred Kabanda, principal geologist at Uganda's petroleum
exploration and production department, said a 30,000 barrel a
day refinery is expected to be operational in 2016 at the
earliest, with output expected to double two years from then.
The third-biggest economy in east Africa aims to build the
refinery as a private-public partnership with its neighbours, in
exchange for a stake in the facility, he said.
In April Uganda agreed with France's Total and
China's CNOOC to build a smaller refinery than it had
wanted. The companies favoured a pipeline to export most of the
crude via Kenya's Indian Ocean coastline, saying there was
insufficient local demand for a refinery of the size Uganda
Total and CNOOC entered Uganda in 2012, taking up a third
each of British explorer Tullow Oil's exploration assets
for a total of $2.9 billion.
(Writing by James Macharia; Editing by Louise Heavens)