Uganda is due to sign oil production licenses with France’s Total and Britain’s Tullow Oil by the end of the year as it seeks to start commercial production.
The Ministry of Energy is over seeing the building of an oil refinery and a pipeline in the next three years to start oil production by 2018.
This was said recently when President Yoweri Museveni was meeting with Javier Rielo Total’s Exploration and Production Africa Division Vice President East Africa over the development of a crude oil pipeline ahead of production in 2018.
The meeting was attended by the Minister for Energy and Mineral development Eng. Irene Muloni and the Permanent Secretary Ministry of Energy Kabagambe Kalisa.
With China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC), the only holder of an oil production license for the Kingfisher Discovery Area, expectations were high in 2014 that it was likely to be the year for Uganda to issue more production licenses to other firms.
In January 2014, all the three oil exploration firms Tullow, CNOOC and Total tendered in bids for production licenses for 10 of the 21 oil prospected areas.
Ernest Rubondo, the Commissioner for Petroleum Exploration and Production Department said at the time, the licensed oil companies in the country, in-line with the provisions of the Petroleum (Exploration, Development and Production) Act 2013, had submitted applications together with their respective Field Development Plans (FDP) and Petroleum Reservoir Reports (PRR).
Tullow Uganda Operations Pty Limited (Tullow), the operator of Exploration Area 2 (EA 2), submitted their field development plans and petroleum reservoir reports for eight discoveries.
The discovery areas were Mputa, Nzizi, Kigogole, Nsoga, Ngara, Ngege, Kasamene and Wahrindi after completion of appraisal work on these discoveries.
This showed Tullow’s readiness for production. Rubondo said, “We have reviewed their submissions and now in discussion with them regarding to content of their submissions.”
Just last week, Uganda’s Cabinet approved the framework for implementation of Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) for the Albertine Graben (in western Uganda), meant to ensure that oil and gas activities are undertaken in a manner that conserves the environment and biodiversity.