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President Museveni Launches Oil Drilling At Kingfisher

President Museveni commissions the Kingfisher Oil Management Facility constructed by National Enterprise Corporation (NEC) in Kikube district. Tuesday Jan 24. PPU Photo (2)

PPU: President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni has reiterated the government’s commitment to use oil and petroleum resources carefully for a long time now that Uganda has got capacity and expertise on what to do in the oil and gas sector.

The President made the assurance on January 24, 2023, as he officially launched oil drilling activities at the Kingfisher Development Area in Kikuube District that involved commissioning of the Kingfisher drilling rig for all 31 oil wells, including the deepest well which is over seven kilometres in depth.

The drilling rig, LR8001, arrived in Mombasa on September 12, 2022, and a total of 280 trucks delivered it in bits at the Pad-2 site in the mid-western Uganda district of Kikuube. Its erection and installation works were concluded in November 2022 following third-party inspections.

The Kingfisher Development Area is operated by China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC), one of the largest oil and gas companies in Uganda’s energy sector.

According to the Petroleum Authority of Uganda, the oil and gas resources that have been discovered in Uganda to date, are close to 6.5 billion barrels in place in the Albertine Graben. Out of the 6.5 billion barrels, we expect to recover about 1.4 billion barrels, at a peak production rate of about 230,000 barrels per day.

Gen Museveni said the 6.5 billion barrels of oil are only 40% of the Muttanzige-Butungi valley, saying “there’s another 60% of that valley where we are going to look for more oil,”. These areas include; Moroto-Kadam Basin in Karamoja, parts of Lango and Kaberamaido which are part of North Kyoga Basin and the Hoima basin (Kafu) between Hoima and Masindi.

The President saluted Ugandan scientists for discovering oil resources in 2006 after the British initial attempt in 1920 who saw oil oozing to the surface at a place called Kibiro but later in 1956 established that oil existed but later evaporated according to the report of the commissioner of Geology by then.

Earlier, in the day, the President commissioned the Kingfisher Oil management waste facility and planted a tree at the 200-acre oil waste plant. The UPDF through the National Enterprise Corporation (NEC) is set to manage oil waste from the Kingfisher oil development area in Kikuube district.

Representing the Minister for Energy of Tanzania Mr. January Makamba, the Ambassador of the united republic of Tanzania, the Ambassador of Tanzania to Uganda, H.E Dr. Aziz Mlima informed the President and the gathering that his country remains committed to the EACOP project and so far about $120 million has been contributed in addition to compensating project affected persons.

The Chinese Ambassador to Uganda, Zhang Lizhong congratulated Uganda on the spudding of Kingfisher Oil Field, describing it as an important milestone not only in the development of Uganda’s oil industry but also a major event in China-Uganda cooperation that is celebrating 60 years of diplomatic relations.

The President CNOOC Uganda Limited Chen Zhuobiao, described the event as a great event as a great step towards achieving Uganda’s first oil by 2025.

The President also witnessed the handover of the license to construct the East African Crude Oil Pipeline (EACOP)
The License was granted by the Ministry, following the application submitted on 1st July 2022, in compliance and accordance with Section 10 of the Petroleum (Refining, Conversion, Transmission, and Midstream Storage) Act 2013, Regulation 59 of the Petroleum (Refining, Conversion, Transmission, and Midstream Storage) Act 2016, and the East African Crude Oil Pipeline Special Provisions Act 2021 and found satisfactory.

The construction license is required to enable EACOP to formally start on the ground construction activities in Uganda as part of the development of the 1,443km, 24-inch diameter insulated and buried crude oil pipeline that will start from Kabaale, Hoima in Uganda to Chongoleani, Tanga in Tanzania.

The licensed upstream oil companies are leading the development of this pipeline in Uganda: Total Energies (62% shares), CNOOC Uganda (8%), Uganda National Oil Company (UNOC) [15%), and the Tanzania Petroleum Development Corporation (TPDC) [15%].

The East African Crude Oil Pipeline is a 1,443km crude oil export infrastructure that will transport Uganda’s crude oil from Kabaale – Hoima in Uganda to the Chongoleani peninsula near Tanga in Tanzania for export to the international market.

The Kingfisher Development Area located South of Lake Albert in Kyangwali Sub-county, Kikuube District covers an area of approximately 344 km2. The Buhuka flat area where the Kingfisher oil field is located, has eleven (11) villages.

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