- About 1.4 billion barrels recoverable
- Finds on the DR Congo side
By John Odyek
The Petroleum Exploration and Production Department has said that the oil resource confirmed is now 6.5 billion barrels from the fields studied.
The resource is in the Albertine Graben which has been tested.
The area tested presently represents less than 40% of the total area with the potential for petroleum production in the country, hence the potential for additional reserves.
“We are now using data collected from our fields. Previous data was based on other fields for comparison,” Ernest Rubondo, the commissioner for petroleum exploration and production said.
Rubondo was speaking at an oil conference organised by the Leo Africa Forum and Konrad Adenauer Stiftung on resource management and making oil work for Africa mid-this week.
Rubondo said the recoverable oil had also increased from 1.2 billion barrels to 1.4 billion barrels.
He expressed disappointment that what was recoverable was still low compared to the large volume of the discovered resource.
“We have to discover technology that can recover more. The US has discovered technology that can enable it recover more of their resources.”
The progress Uganda had made regarding oil, he pointed out, had taken a significant amount of effort, and that 20 years ago, many of the oil companies then said there was no opportunity for commercial oil production in the country.
The official particularly praised the oil and gas policy and other laws that can regulate and protect the sector, the environment and see that Uganda benefits from the oil.
“We took our policy to Nigeria. Nigeria has never had a policy; it is probably a reason they had many problems.”
Oil of DRCongo, a company exploring for oil in the DR Congo, recently announced finds of about three billion barrels in place. The DRC side of Lake Albert mirrors that of Uganda.
Fred Kabagambe Kaliisa, the permanent secretary of the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development, said recently that any development on oil in the region is a welcome development for not only Uganda but the entire region.
“However, further work needs to be done to establish the potential for and amount of resources on the DRC side of the Albertine Graben,” he said.
“Uganda and the DRC signed an agreement of cooperation for the exploration of petroleum resources and exploitation of common fields.
“This framework has enabled some oil companies which have been licensed by the Government of DRC to use Uganda as a transit route for movement of their equipment, personnel and as a base for their operations.”
Emmanuel Katongole, the chair-elect of the National Oil Company said he and his team were waiting for their instruments of appointment from President Yoweri Museveni.
Parliament recently vetted and approved the team.
“We need to use the entrepreneurship spirit to run the company as a business where we can make profits and change the lives of Ugandans,” Katongole said.
“Ugandans need to take their destiny in their own hands. Where people are involved in wrong things they need to be brought to book.”
Peter Agela, a lawyer and researcher with Advocates Coalition for Development and Environment said Parliament has to streamline the role and financing of the National Oil Company.
“The financing of the company is not clear.”