By Charles Kennedy
The French Ambassador to Uganda has said that the exploration for oil in the country is a key opportunity for Uganda’s government to press ahead with its development agendas.
Speaking during celebrations to mark the French National Day in Kampala, Ambassador Aline Kuster-Menager said, “Exploitation of the country’s oil resources offers a unique and key opportunity for Uganda to boost its development with new and substantial financial resources,” The Monitor reported.
Recent discoveries of vast oil reserves, particularly the oil rich Albertine Graben, with estimated reserves of at least 2.5 billion barrels of oil, mean Uganda is set to become a key oil producer on a part with other African oil producing nations, such as neighboring Sudan, Angola, Nigeria and Equatorial Guinea. Some estimate place the Albertine Graben reserve as high as six billion barrels of recoverable oil.
On the basis of such reserves, government analysts estimate that Uganda will be able to support production of over 100,000 barrels of oil per day for the next two decades.
To exploit these resources, the government has signed several leasing contracts with international companies. The French energy giant Total has been granted a large chunk of the rights of exploitation in the Albertine Graben.
The Tullow Oil exploration has already confirmed Albertine Graben reserves of 2.5 billion barrels of oil. As hydrocarbons have been encountered in 51 out of the 55 wells drilled by Tullow Oil, the developments have put Uganda’s discovery rate at 92.3 percent.
(Charles Kennedy is Deputy Editor of OilPrice.com.