Uganda: Government to Open Second Round of Oil Licensing

Government has concluded drafting three different pieces of legislation that will inform how money from the Petroleum Fund in Bank of Uganda.

A new round of competitive bidding for oil exploration licenses for the Albertine Graben is slated for early next month.

Speaking at a press conference on Wednesday, Energy and Mineral Development Minister, Ms Irene Muloni said seven new exploration blocks will be open for bidding during the second week of May to coincide with the East African Community Petroleum Conference that is scheduled to take place in Mombasa, Kenya.

It is the second time that Uganda is offering oil exploration deals under open bidding. The last round of bidding saw Armour Energy from Australia and Oranto Petroleum from Nigeria emerge as the best bidders. Government signed deals with the companies worth more than Shs7 billion.

The minimum requirements for bidders have not yet been stipulated by the ministry but will be revealed at the conference, Ms Muloni said.

The area that is being put up for bidding has three commercial areas that cover both onshore and offshore blocks.

According to Ms Muloni, about 1,200 kilometres of oil exploitation are being targeted.

Three other companies have been given licenses. These include; CNOOC, Total and Tullow Oil.

So far, 10 percent (6 billion barrels of oil) of the country's oil capacity was established in the first round of licensing.

Ms Muloni says that with the second round, new areas of the Albertine Graben have been opened.

"We have so far allocated 10 percent of the Graben to the existing firms. From the remaining 90 percent of the Graben, we have picked data and it is this data that has helped us with the forming of these new blocks," she said.

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