By Ibrahim Kasita
Uganda now has a state-of-the-art laboratory capable of investigating the characteristics of oil fields. This investment will reduce the cost of oil operations.
The laboratory, an investment in by ICON Industrial Services, includes core analysing and studying rock samples brought to the surface during drilling.
It provides information for seal and reservoir description, characterization and other purposes throughout the life cycle of an oil/gas field.
Eng. Irene Muloni, the minister of energy and mineral development, disclosed that core analysis was previously undertaken outside Uganda implying additional costs.
In her speech read by Peter Lokeris, the state minister for mineral development at the launch of the laboratory, Muloni said the investment was timely as it will not only save public money but also save time.
“Because there are not many laboratories providing these services world over, the Government was often told to wait for longer periods before analysis of its samples could be undertaken,” she stated.
Muloni urged oil companies and their service providers to support local businesses, particularly those that are venturing into technical and specialist fields.
“In turn, the Ugandan investors must ensure that they provide quality, timely and world class standard services in order to have a competitive edge and advantage,” she said.
Over 3.5 billion barrels of oil and gas in reserves have been confirmed.
The oil industry has created opportunities for investment and training. Already two new petroleum laws have been passed, giving way to the first competitive licensing rounds for the remaining oil potential acreage.
This means that Uganda has to prepare for further exploration in the remaining 60% of the Lake Albert basin which has not yet been explored. One of the guiding principles of government’s policy for developing the oil and gas resources is national participation through use of Ugandan goods and services.
“It is essential that Ugandans have an opportunity to train and build their capacity in specialist services,” Muloni said.
“It is our hope that the success of this core analysis laboratory will support the achievement of the goal of our national oil and gas policy, which is to use the country’s oil and gas resources to contribute to early achievement of poverty eradication and create lasting value to society,” she said.