Uganda planning to open up more oil basins

oilwell sudan iancu justin sxc.huTwo basins will be opened up for speculative surveys, to be followed by seismic surveys. (Image source: iancu justin/sxc.hu)Uganda’s Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development (MEMD) plans to open up at least one more oil basin in the country

Frank Mugisha, the acting commissioner in charge of exploration in the Petroleum Directorate, said that the country was going to start exploring for oil in Lake Kyoga in central basin and Moroto-Kadama basin in Karamoja sub-region. He said the opening up of these basins could come as early as within this financial year.

“The ministry plans to undertake speculative surveys in the two basins. These surveys will be followed by seismic surveys. We hope that in the future, these areas will also be opened for licensing,” Mugisha said.

The planned move comes almost ten years after the country hit its first well in the Albertine basin. Uganda is currently concentrating on licensing out six oil blocks in the Albertine basin. Mugisha said that the government was likely to call for bids on 1 October 2015, making it the first round of open bidding in the country.

After the issuance of bid documents, prospective companies would be given three months within which to submit the bids, according to Mugisha. After that, the government would take one month to evaluate the bids and another month for negotiations and issuance of exploration licences.

Consequently, exploration licences are expected to be issued in the Q1 2016. Already, 16 companies have been pre-qualified to submit bids. The country has opened up six blocks for the new licensing round and expects to bring on board six other companies in the exploration.

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