17 September 2009

Uganda: Huge Oil Deposits Discovered Under Lake Albert

Kampala — TULLOW Oil yesterday announced a huge oil discovery at Ngassa-2 oil drilling well on the shores of Lake Albert.

Ngassa-2 is a deviated well drilled from the Kaiso-Tonya area, measuring 3.5km from the crest of the structure and 3,392 metres beneath the lake.

"The discovery of a significant oil field at Ngassa, with the potential to be the largest in the basin, is a major achievement for Tullow," Angus McCoss, the director of the Irish-owned firm, said in a statement. "The follow-up potential risk in the Ngassa closure has substantially been minimised by this find and we look forward to realising the upside through appraisal and further drilling."

McCoss explained that block 2 of the Ngassa-2 well had seven metres of oil in a 14-metre gross sand."We are now focusing on the follow-up to the Buffalo-Giraffe discovery in block 1, appraisal activities in block 2 for development planning and timely production from the basin."

Tullow Oil has already discovered five oil fields with the potential to produce up to 700 million barrels of oil.

The Government's efforts to promote the exploration of oil and gas for the last 23 years have paid off.

A total of 34 wells were drilled. Of these, 32 wells had petroleum.

It is estimated that the country has over two billion barrels of oil to-date, which can support commercial oil production.

Describing its latest discovery, Tullow Oil said logging, downhole pressure testing and sampling at the well confirmed the presence of moveable oil, which has been recovered at the surface.

The reservoir quality was "excellent" and the oil was of similar quality to that in Tullow's other discoveries at Mputa and Kingfisher, the firm said.

The block 2 exploration programme has been completed with the suspension of the well for future drilling.

Exploration drilling on block 1 is expected to resume later.

According to Tullow, the discovery minimised risks of the follow-up potential in the Ngassa oil field, which it said could be the largest in the basin, pending results of further appraisal.

Data acquired through logging operations indicated the potential for significant oil, which could fill the 150sqkm Ngassa closure.

The discovery comes at a time when an integrated team is working on a plan to produce oil and gas in the Lake Albertine region next year.

Tullow also confirmed that it would sell part of its stake in block 2 to finance the oil pipeline.

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