Nigerian firms dominate Uganda oil exploration bids as country eyes June license award
KAMPALA, MARCH 01- Uganda expects to issue new oil exploration licenses after seven companies returned bids in a licensing round dominated by Nigerian firms.
In a statement today, the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development said It had received an almost matching number of bids for the six blocks it put up for licensing in February 2015.
Out of an initial sixteen bidders that received bidding documents last October, only Armour Energy Limited of Australia, WalterSmith Petroman Oil Limited of Nigeria, Oranto Petroleum International Ltd of Nigeria, Niger Delta Petroleum Resources Ltd of Nigeria, Rift Energy Corporation of Canada, Glint Energy LLC of USA and Swala Energy Ltd of Australia.
The bidders are angling for six blocks on offer the Ngassa block (410 Km2) in Hoima District, Taitai & Karuka (565 Km2) in Buliisa District, Ngaji (895 Km2) in Rukungiri & Kanungu Districts, Mvule (344 Km2) in Moyo and Yumbe Districts together with Turaco (425 Km2) and Kanywantaba (344 Km2) in Ntoroko District.
“The attraction of seven bidders is significant taking into consideration the current low global oil and gas prices. The success of the bidding process is largely hinged on the geological success recoded in the Albertine Graben and the fact that a majority of the blocks on offer have proven oil and gas potential,” says Dr. Fred Kabagambe-Kaliisa, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development.
Kabagambe adds that evaluation of the bids will consider the proposed work program, technical and financial capability, national content, health safety and environment, as well as the proposed royalty and signature bonus.
Officials say Production Sharing Agreement signature and exploration licence award are expected at the end of June.
With 6.5 billion barrels of oil (1.4 billion recoverable) and 500 billion cubic feet of gas in confirmed reserves, Uganda hopes further exploration will push discovered resources to 15 billion barrels.