Hoima, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Earnest Rubondo, the Executive Director of the Petroleum Authority, is currently undertaking a three-day visit to the Tilenga project in the Albertine region, operated by TotalEnergies. According to sources within the Authority, the purpose of Rubondo’s visit to the Tilenga Oil Infrastructure is to assess their readiness as TotalEnergies plans to commence drilling operations at the Jobi-Rii field.
It was initially anticipated that drilling activities at the Tilenga project would commence around October of the previous year. As per legal requirements, the Petroleum Authority must grant approval for drilling or spudding at any of the projects. It is expected that this permission will be granted once the Authority is satisfied with the infrastructure in place.
TotalEnergies has already imported two drilling rigs from China, which have successfully passed endurance tests at the Honghua Factory in Guanghan City. The first rig was handed over to TotalEnergies EP Uganda’s contractor, ZPEB, in early February of the preceding year. Reports from those who have visited the Tilenga project recently indicate that the rigs have been installed and are ready for launching, awaiting the President’s presence.
In January, President, Yoweri Museveni inaugurated the drilling at the Kingfisher Development Project in Kikube, which is being developed by CNOOC, a stakeholder in the Tilenga Project. The Tilenga Project, operated by TotalEnergies EP Uganda, encompasses three production licenses, including the Jobi-Rii field, which is scheduled for drilling.
As part of the project, a Central Processing Facility (CPF) is being developed with the capacity to process 190,000 barrels of oil and 700,000 barrels of total liquid per day. However, drilling activities are contingent on the approval of the Petroleum Authority and the completion of detailed engineering designs for the CPF.
Unlike the Kingfisher project, which commenced drilling in late January, operations at the Tilenga project are located within a national park, necessitating a cautious approach. The final investment decision (FID) for the project, along with the Kingfisher Development Area and the East African Crude Oil Pipeline (EACOP), was announced in February 2022.