Energy & Mining

Bunyoro leaders, residents excited after launch oil drilling

 KIKUUBE-Locals and leaders in Albertine Graben in Bunyoro Sub-region are excited after the commissioning of oil drilling at the Kingfisher Development Area [KFDA] in Buhuka parish in Kyangwali Sub-county in Kikuube district.

President Yoweri Museveni on Tuesday switched on the Kingfisher oil rig run by China National Offshore Oil Corporation [CNOOC], marking the start of the drilling of 31 wells in the oil field.

Peter Banura, the Kikuube district chairperson said the commencement of oil production is a great achievement for the development of the region.

He said oil drilling will provide formal and informal employment to the residents of the area.

He added the region has so far benefited in terms of infrastructure development during time exploration saying production oil production is going to create several opportunities.

He said that the production of oil is going on the market for agricultural production and demand for accommodation thus and this will help those in business to benefit.

Merry Grace Merry Mugasa the Minister for public service said the launch of oil drilling is great achievement not only for the people Bunyoro but the entire country since is a national resource.

She said the commissioning of oil drilling has ended speculation by some people that oil would not be produced and that this calls for people in Bunyoro to prepare to benefit from the oil industry.

She challenged people in the region to engage in production to be able to supply food and services. She asked the youth to embrace vocational skills development to tap into the oil and gas job opportunity.

James Onega a resident of Songa landing site Buhuka parish said that oil has so far benefited their area through infrastructure development.

He was hopeful that the oil revenues will help to further develop the area.

CNOOC Uganda Limited operates the Kingfisher field on behalf of the Joint Venture Partners TotalEnergies E&P and Uganda National Oil Company [UNOC].

The Kingfisher project currently employs over 1500 people, and of these, 1,300 are Ugandans, and about 500 are from the communities surrounding the project.

According to Ernest Rubondo, the Executive Director of the Petroleum Authority of Uganda [PAU], the Kingfisher oil field is about 15 kilometres long and 3kms wide and is about 2kms below Lake Albert. The oil field is estimated to have a total of 560 million barrels of oil in place, out of which 190 million [33 percent] are expected to be produced over 20-25 years.

“The oil field is expected to have a maximum production of 40,000 barrels of oil per day for five years, after which production will begin to decline,” Rubondo said.

He further said investment in the development of the Kingfisher oilfield is expected to cost over US$2 billion over the next three years, until shortly after production starts and over US$1.5 billion over the remaining 20 years of the life of the oil field.

“US$346 million was invested in the Kingfisher project in 2022, bringing the total cumulative investment in the project to US$ 1.07 billion at the end of 2022. About $580 million is expected to be invested in KFDA in 2023 and a similar amount in 2024,” Rubondo noted.

Rubondo also said PAU is implementing a Real-Time Monitoring Centre [RTMC]. This facility, designed to receive and relay information from all the activities in the oil and gas sector in real-time, will be in place before the end of 2024.

Irene Batebe, the permanent secretary in the Energy ministry, said the government’s commercialisation plan provides in-country value addition through refining, where they plan to develop a 60,000 barrels per day oil refinery.

Uganda expects to start commercial production in 2025 following the announcement of the Final Investment Decision [FID] in February 2022.

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