Uganda’s oil and gas sector has transitioned from the exploration and appraisal phase to the development phase in preparation for sustainable production of the petroleum resources that have been discovered in the country.
Appraisal drilling, three dimensional (3D) seismic surveys and extended well testing have been undertaken as part of the effort to appraise the oil and gas discoveries made in the country to date. This appraisal work provides a better understanding of the volumes of oil and gas in each of the discoveries made and enables identification of the most efficient methods of producing these volumes.
The licensed oil companies use the data and information acquired during appraisal to prepare Field Development Plans (FDPs) and Petroleum Reservoir Reports (PRRs) which are submitted to Government as part of the application for production licenses.
Of the 21 discoveries, 16 have been adequately appraised and 14 of these approved for development. On 30th August 2016, eight Production Licenses were awarded over 13 discoveries. These are; Mputa-NziziWaraga, Kasamene-Wahrindi, Kigogole-Ngara, Nsoga and Ngege fields in Exploration Area 2 operated by Tullow Uganda Operations Pty, and Gunya, Ngiri and Jobi-Rii in Exploration Area 1 operated by Total E&P Uganda. The Kingfisher Production license was awarded to CNOOC in 2012 and development studies are ongoing.
Production license applications for Lyec, Mpyo and Jobi-East discoveries in EA 1 will be awarded after final review of their field development plans and petroleum reservoir reports.
Granting the above production licenses marks the country’s entry into the development phase of the petroleum value chain.
Preparation of the already discovered oil fields for production (development), will be undertaken under two separate projects, the Tilenga project in Buliisa and Nwoya districts, and the Kingfisher project in Hoima District.
The Tilenga Project
The Tilenga Project includes a Central Processing Facility (CPF) with capacity to process 190,000 barrels of oil per day, and over 412 wells (including 189 injectors, 190 producers and 33 observers) which are planned to be drilled on 35 wellpads. The CPF is an infrastructure used to process crude oil, which is received directly from the oil wells, by removing impurities and water and also separating the produced gas from the crude oil.
The Tilenga project is also planned to have 250 kilometres flow lines which will transport crude oil within the oil fields and a 110 km feeder pipeline which will transport the processed crude oil from the CPF in Buliisa to the export hub and refinery in Kabaale.
The Kingfisher Project
The Kingfisher project has a planned CPF with a capacity of 40,000 barrels of oil per day and 31 wells (11 injectors and 20 producers) to be drilled on 4 well pads. The project is planned to have 16 kilometres of flow lines and a 55km feeder pipeline from the CPF in Buhuka, Hoima district, to the Export Hub and refinery in Kabaale
CNOOC (U) Ltd has commenced pre-development work on the Kingfisher oil field starting with construction of infrastructure to support the operations. This includes the construction of a 10 kilometer all weather road from Ikamiro Village, across the escarpment to Buhuka in Kyangwali Sub county, Hoima district where the Kingfisher oil field is located, which was completed in February 2016.
Other pre-development activities being undertaken include; Development of a Land Acquisition and Resettlement Framework (LARF), Studies on Excess Associated Gas Utilization, Front End Engineering and Design (FEED) for facilities and Enhanced Oil Recovery (EOR) through Polymer Flooding, Environment and Social Impact Assessments, Biodiversity studies, Resettlement Action Planning and other Geotechnical and geological studies among others