Article from The East African:
Tullow far from earning petrodollars for Uganda and EA
Posted Monday, May 31 2010 at 00:00
Uganda and East Africa may have to wait a little longer for petro-dollars from Uganda’s extensive oil fields as it emerges that major oil production is unlikely to commence until at least 2014/15.
Even then, the plan remains largely fluid as major elements of the programme design are yet to be completed and agreed on with Ugandan authorities.
Current estimates put the potential in Uganda’s Albertine Rift between 1.5 and two billion barrels of oil and just over 800 million barrels of these have been confirmed.
Two operators, Tullow and Heritage Oil, that have been conducting a joint exploration programme in the area, are the custodians of these finds.
Although Tullow had variously mentioned 2010 as a possible date for first oil production, it turns out this will be very limited in scope and targets power production from gas finds in the area and a topping plant for heavy fuel oil.
In private conversations, observers have cast doubt on the viability of Tullow’s pronouncements, pointing out that the company has not announced any practical steps geared towards commercial extraction of Uganda’s crude.
Even if the oil were brought to the surface, given the remote location of the oil fields, it would also require substantial investment in infrastructure, none of which is likely to be in place in the next three to five years.
“Tullow has made it clear that it envisages small-scale first oil production in 2010, first gas production and power and first commercial oil production by late 2011 and major production 2014 and 2015.
Read the rest of the article here.