The ministry said in a report that by the end of January 2013, a total of 88 oil exploration and appraisal wells had been drilled in the country, with 76 of them encountering oil.
The discoveries represent an impressive success rate of 85% with less than 40% of the oil region explored so far, as Uganda steps up efforts to join the ranks of top oil producers such as Nigeria, Angola and Sudan in Sub-Saharan Africa.
“Cumulative investments made in petroleum exploration in the country since 1998 are estimated to be $1.7 billion… this is expected to increase as the country enters the development and subsequently the production and refining phase of the petroleum value chain,” said Kalisa Kabagambe, permanent secretary at the energy and minerals ministry.
Increased discoveries have upgraded the country’s crude reserve
estimates to 3.5 billion barrels from 2.5 billion barrels last year.
However, government and oil companies are still split over the oil development plan and refining options, which continue to push back the planned start of production.