Chinese firm to commence oil drilling in Uganda, after Museveni’s approval


KAMPALA - The China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC) and will start drilling 31 oil wells on four well pads at the Kingfisher field on the shores of Lake Albert.

This comes after President Yoweri Museveni on Tuesday commissioned the country’s first of four oil wells to start drilling as the country eyes production in 2025.

The three other wells will be installed at Tilenga.

Uganda discovered crude reserves estimated at 6.5 billion barrels, with 1.4 billion recoverable nearly two decades ago in the western region in the Lake Albertine basin, Kingfisher and Tilenga oilfields.

Ugandan head of state switched on the rig – an LR8001 deluxe land rig – installed in November 2022 at the Pad-2 site at Buhuuka village, Kibuube District.

Globally the oil price is about $87.5 per barrel, the Kingfisher project will account for 15 percent of the total oil revenue to the government from upstream operations, equivalent to $6.9 billion for the entire project, or $360 million per year, Ernest Rubondo, the Executive Director of the Petroleum Authority of Uganda said.

The French TotalEnergies’ operated Tilenga Project – which will produce 190,000 barrels of oil per day – will account for 85 percent of the expected oil revenues.

The rig at Kingfisher will drill oil wells at varying depths, the shortest of which is about 2.6 kilometers, while the deepest is 7.4 kilometers, said Mr. Rubondo, adding that the oil field extends about three kilometers into the lake.

The project is expected to produce 40,000 barrels of oil per day in 2025, but CNOOC officials are optimistic they could deliver the first oil ahead of schedule.


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