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Gov’t explains oil production delays

FILE PHOTO: Uganda Oil production unit

Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Government has explained the repeated changes in the oil production date.

Robert Kasekende, the Energy Ministry Permanent Secretary, says the delays have been occasioned by a careful process that is intended to see Ugandans and government benefit fully from the oil resource.

He told reporters on Monday afternoon at the Energy Ministry head office in Kampala that there are some countries that have rushed to get oil out of the soil but regretted later.

The initial date of Uganda’s oil production was 2018. It was moved to 2020 and now the tentative date is 2022, according to Kasande.

The delay in the oil production has been a key concern for many investors targeting to tap into the oil industry – from real estate to transport and logistics to services like banking.

Knight Frank Uganda, an estate agent, recently informed reporters that the delay in oil production had seen some key players in the industry, including Tullow, Total E&P, and CNOOC send back experts to their countries of origin.

This meant that the houses they had hired for them were surrendered back to the market. Patrick Mweheire, the Stanbic bank Chief Executive Officer also said the delay meant a delayed opportunity for the banking industry.

Kasande said the Final Investment Decision (FID) will be made mid this year and the development capacity will start early next year.

Kasande said government will try to entice more investors into Uganda’s oil industry at the upcoming oil and gas conference in Mombasa early next month where Uganda will announce the next licensing round for seven blocks in the Albertine region.

Government late last year revised the amount of crude oil so far discovered to six billion barrels, down from 6.5 billion barrels.

The amount recoverable has also been put at 1.4 billion barrels, down from the initial range of between 1.7 and 1.9 billion barrels.

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