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E & P News

2017

May 2017: Three exploration licences will be awarded in June and two firms will start negotiations to develop an oil refinery. In August 2016 four firms were invited to start negotiations for 5 PSAs covering 4 blocks. Uganda is looking to start oil production in 2020 when construction of an export pipeline through Tanzania is due to be completed.

2016

Aug 2016: Production licenses have been issud to Tullow, Total and CNOOC who will invest US$8 bn and start oil production in 2020 (Gs notes that 2020 is rather optimistic). The investment will be for 500 wells and a central processing facilities and pipelines. The oil will supply a 60,000 bbl per day refinery and will be piped for export to Tanga in Tanzania. State-owned Uganda NOC will have 15%.

Apr 2016: Uganda will build a pipeline through Tanzania to Tanga rather than Kenya and will not link its oil fields to Kenyan discoveries in Lokichar. Uganda and Kenya pipelines will be developed independently. Projected start dates from both countries have repeatedly been postponed partly because no decision has been taken over the pipeline route.

Mar 2016: Uganda and Tanzania may build a pipeline from Ugandan oil fields to the Tanzanian coast instead of through Kenya. Resolving the pipeline route is vital for oil companies in Uganda and Kenya to make a final investment decision on developing their fields.

Mar 2016: Uganda has received 7 bids for 6 blocks offered in a licensing round in the Albertine rift basin. Oil was discovered in Uganda along its border with Congo (Kinshasa)in 2006 but slow infrastructure development, tax issues and the fall in the oil price have delayed the start of production. The 6 blocks are Ngassa, Tai Tai and Karuka, Mvule, Turaco, Kanywantaba and Ngaji.

2015

Jun 2015: The Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development has opened up 6 blocks in the Albertine Graben for licensing in the first competitive bidding round. The blocks on offer are Ngassa in Hoima District, Karuka-Taitai in Buliisa District, Ngaji in Rukungiri & Kanungu Districts, Mvule in Moyo and Yumbe Districts, and Turaco and Kanywantaba in Ntoroko District.

Mar 2015: Total is seeking international arbitration over a tax disagreement. Commercial production in the country has been repeatedly delayed by previous disputes. In 2012 Total and CNOOC bought one third stakes in 3 blocks from Tullow Oil in a US$2.9 bn deal. Production is expected to commence in 2018 at the earliest.

Feb 2015: The country’s first open competitive licensing round for petroleum exploration will cover 6 blocks in the Albertine Graben (Ngassa in Hoima District, Taitai and Karuka in Buliisa District, Ngaji in Rukungiri & Kanungu Districts, Mvule in Moyo and Yumbe Districts, and Turaco and Kanywantaba in Ntoroko District.

2014

Feb 2014: Uganda has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Tullow Oil, Total and CNOOC for commercial oil production, now expected to start in 2016 at the earliest. The MoU provides for fuel for power, exports by pipeline through Kenya to Lamu and supplies to a new 30,000 bbl per day refinery. Development and infrastructure will cost from US$15-22bn.

2013

Sep 2013: CNOOC will spend US$2 bn over 4 years to develop the Kingfisher oil field. Uganda has estimated reserves of 3.5 bn bbls and is aiming for commercial output in 2016. The Kingfisher field has an estimated 196 mm bbls of reserves and may produce around 35,000 bbls of oil per day from 40 development wells, of which 27 would be producers.

Mar 2013: Investment in oil exploration in the Lake Albertine Rift basin since 1998 has reached at least US$1.7 bn. A total of 88 exploratory wells have been drilled with 76 encountering oil. The country's reserves are estimated at 3.5 bn bbls. However an oil development plan is yet to be agreed for the basin. Tullow, Total and CNOOC want to sell on the open market via pipeline to the East African coast but Uganda insists that most of the oil should be refined locally.

Jan 2013: Uganda will auction 13 blocks currently not licensed for oil and gas exploration when a new bill governing the petroleum sector is signed. Uganda struck commercial hydrocarbons in the Albertine rift basin near the border with the Democratic Republic of Congo in 2006. A total of 87 wells have since been drilled, 76 of which have been found to contain hydrocarbons. The country estimates total oil reserves at 3.5 bn bbls. Total, Tullow Oil and CNOOC are awaiting approval of their field development plans.

2012

Dec 2012: The Ugandan parliament passed the upstream oil bill to transit from exploration to  production, regulating licensing, exploration and development. The oil minister has sole powers to approve and revoke licenses. Uganda suspended issuing licenses in 2007 and at least 6 blocks will be available for licensing once the bill is passed. Uganda's oil reserves are estimated at 3.5 bn bbls. Total, Tullow and CNOOC are expected to start pumping oil by 2017 but are yet to agree on a development plan and refining options.

Oct 2012: Total now expects first oil from its fields in 2017. The partners can only begin operations when the government approves its development plan. Total expects initial output of around 20,000 bbls a day, gradually rising to 200,000 by 2020. The company will also seek more exploration licenses in the next licensing round. Uganda has 6 unlicensed oil blocks and at least 10,000 sq kms of relinquished acreage in the Rift basin.

Sep 2012: Total is expected to drill its first well in Uganda's Lake Albert Rift basin before the end of 2012. It is launching a seismic survey and continuing an appraisal program of at least 3 oil fields. The company expects to spend US$300mm on drilling. In Feb 2012, Total completed the deal to acquire a one-third interest in Blocks 1, 2 and 3A from Tullow for US$1.46bn. Nearly 6 years after Uganda discovered oil, production is yet to commence due to disputes with the government about production plans and tax liability.

Sep 2012: Ugandan oil production continues to be delayed. Less than 6 months after the government approved Tullow's $2.9 bn deal to split its licenses with CNOOC and Total, it is withholding approval of the development. The owners want to sell oil via a pipeline to East Africa but Uganda insists that most of it is refined locally into fuel products for domestic consumption, wanting them to build a refinery capable of producing 150,000 bbls a day of products.

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