By Ibrahim Kasita
Exploration and production firms have applied to government for oil production licences a move that underscores the transition of Uganda’s petroleum industry from exploration, appraisal to development and production.
In a statement issued on Monday, the petroleum exploration and production department at the ministry of energy and mineral development said the applications were for the 10 out of the total 21 discoveries in the Lake Albert basin.
Tullow, which operates block-2, has submitted field development plans and petroleum reservoir reports for eight discoveries after finalising the appraisal work.
They include Mputa, Nzizi, Kigogole, Nsoga, Ngara, Ngege, Kasamene and Wahrindi after completion of appraisal work on these discoveries.
The statement said government has reviewed the submissions and is in discussion with the firm about the results which will lead to final decision of either rejecting or approving them.
Similarly, according the statement, Total has submitted an application for a production license of the Ngiri discovery in Exploration Area 1. (Buliisa).
This is the first application for a production licence submitted by Total since they took over the operatorship of Exploration Area 1 from Tullow during February 2012.
The application for the Production Licence was submitted to the Minister of Energy and Mineral Development during December, 2013.
“The licensed oil companies in the country, in-line with the provisions of the Petroleum (Exploration, Development and Production) Act 2013, have submitted the applications together with the respective Field Development Plans (FDP) and Petroleum Reservoir Reports (PRR)”, Ernest Rubondo, the Commissioner stated.
“The review process and discussions are based on analysis of the data which the companies acquire during appraisal of the discoveries”, he said.
Rubondo explained that following receipt of the applications, Government engages the respective company in technical discussions over the reports which are submitted along with the application and when consensus is achieved, a production license is granted.
“These technical discussions are important because they bring out the pros and cons of the proposed development and align the understanding of the nature and characteristics of the specific petroleum reservoir by both Government and the oil company,” he said.
Rubondo added that The discussions contribute to ensuring good and efficient management of the petroleum reservoir during production.
On 16th September 2013, Government of Uganda lifted the condition on the Petroleum Production License for the Kingfisher Discovery, operated by CNOOC Uganda Limited following agreement on the petroleum development reports for the field.
The Kingfisher Production License is the first petroleum production license to be issued in the country and marked the country’s entry into the development phase.
Development of the Kingfisher field is expected to be complete within four years before production can commence.
Appraisal of other discoveries continues
In September 2013, Total the operator of Exploration Area 1 and 1A, applied for extension of the appraisal period for the Jobi, Rii, Gunya, Jobi-East and Mpyo discoveries in EA 1.
The period of appraisal for the Jobi and Rii discoveries was subsequently extended until June 2014 while the period of appraisal for Jobi-East, Gunya and Mpyo discoveries was extended until December 2014.
Applications for production licenses for these five discoveries in EA 1 together with that of the Lyec Discovery in EA 1A are therefore expected to be submitted during 2014.