UNOC speaks on its stake in Tilenga and Kingfisher oil projects

President Yoweri Museveni launches an oil drilling rig at the Kingfisher Development Area operated by CNOOC in Kikuube District. (Image supplied by UNOC).

The Uganda National Oil Company (UNOC) says it holds a 15% participating interest in Tilenga and the Kingfisher oil projects on behalf of the government of Uganda.  

The Tilenga project operators are hosted by Buliisa, Nwoya and Hoima districts while the Kingfisher Development Area of the Kingfisher project stretches from its hub in Kikuube district to Homa district.

The company adds that its Joint Venture Partners (JVPs) in the upstream include TotalEnergies E&P Uganda and China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC) Uganda Limited.

Although UNOC is a non-operator in the two upstream projects, it plays a pivotal role in the joint venture activities including participating in the joint venture meetings, reviewing, approving/recommending proposed work programmes and budgets and reviewing bidder lists and recommended contract awards. 

In this vein, it helps it as a state oil agency to ensure value retention for Uganda as national content.

In 2023, the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development licensed UNOC to explore oil in the Kasuruban Contract Area covering Hoima, Buliisa and Masindi districts. The Company has since embarked on geological mapping to determine oil and gas potential.

Relatedly, UNOC and CNOOC Uganda Limited signed a Joint Application Agreement (JAA) for joint acquisition of participating interests in the Pelican-Crane block in the Albertine Graben. 

This will culminate in a joint exploration licence. Kasuruban and Pelican-Crane are crucial in ensuring more oil and gas discoveries.

Beginning with the Kingfisher in January 2024, drilling which precedes production, has since intensified with similar activities ongoing in Tilenga. 

The rigs were customised for the projects to reach oil reservoirs, suppress noise, and “walk” on the well-pads. Well pads facilitate drilling. 

The Tilenga project will produce 190,000 barrels of crude oil per day while Kingfisher will produce 40,000 barrels per day.  

Production at the two projects is expected to commence in 2025.


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