THE exploration licence of Tullow Oil, the firm exploring for oil and gas in the Lake Albertine Graben, has been extended for two years to allow the firm conduct oil field appraisal. Field appraisal means drilling more wells to determine the size and quan
THE exploration licence of Tullow Oil, the firm exploring for oil and gas in the Lake Albertine Graben, has been extended for two years to allow the firm conduct oil field appraisal. Field appraisal means drilling more wells to determine the size and quantity of an oil or gas field and how to develop it most efficiently.
Fred Kabagambe-Kaliisa, the energy ministry permanent secretary (PS), explained that the firmâ€™s licence,which expired last month, was renewed because it had to continue operations since it had â€œfound oil and gas.â€
â€œWe give an exploration licence to a company for a maximum of eight years to explore for oil,â€ he said. â€œIf it does not get the oil or gas in that period, its licence is not renewed. But if the company finds oil, its exploration licence is renewed for two more years to give it time undertake field appraisal.â€
The PS said Tullow had discovered significant amount of oil and â€œtherefore its licence had to be renewed automatically.â€ The development comes at a time when the firm is looking for partners with capacity and expertise to refine, produce and transport the crude oil.
Tullow wants to sell 50% of its interests in the Lake Albert Rift Basin. It wants to work with the new partner in developing the project. Already, 10 multi-national oil companies have shown interest and a decision is expected on a partner early next year.
Kaliisa said a data-room was opened to facilitate the sale. Tullow Oil appointed Standard Chartered UK to sell half of its stake in two oil fields. It is estimated that the firmâ€™s hydro-carbon resource base in Uganda is $50b. The buyer of Tullowâ€™s 50% stake will also need to be approved by the Ugandan authorities.
The new partner will also be expected to launch a development plan for the project. This includes details about local job creation, training, supply to the domestic market and infrastructure.
A multi-well drilling campaign, incorporating both high-impact exploration wells in Block 1 and appraisal wells in Block 2, is expected to recommence early in 2010. Uganda wants the oil to be refined in the country gain handsomely from it.
The Government and Tullow are working together to define the first phases of oil production from the discovered wells.
Tullow Oil gets new deal