Government on Pace to Produce Oil by 2025

The government is on track to ensure that the first drop of oil is produced by the end of 2025, according to the Minister of Energy and Mineral Development, Hon. Ruth Nankabirwa, who informed Parliament.

“Government and its partners are working tirelessly, and I am happy to report that we are on track to have first oil by the end of 2025,” Nankabirwa said while presenting a statement on the status of oil and gas projects in the country to Parliament on Wednesday, 25 October 2023.

According to Nankabirwa, the government has already drilled a total of 11 oil wells: eight in the Tilenga and three in the Kingfisher area, with the capacity to produce up to 190,000 barrels and 40,000 barrels of oil per day, respectively. In total, the production will require 457 wells and 35 well pads.

The development and production wells at the Kingfisher field in Kikuube district were launched in January 2023 by President Yoweri Museveni, while those at the Tilenga Project located in the Albertine Graben within the Buliisa and Nwoya districts commenced in June 2023.

“Construction of the Central Processing facilities both at Kingfisher and Tilenga is ongoing and on schedule to be ready by 2025. Tilenga’s capacity Central Processing facility, currently under construction, is 33 percent complete, while Kingfisher’s capacity Central Processing facility is at 12 percent,” Nankabirwa said.

Regarding oil exploration, Nankabirwa stated that the Ministry is increasing its resource base by granting more licenses to companies.

“We issued exploration licenses to Armour Energy Ltd over the Kanyawataba area, Oranto Petroleum Ltd over the Ngassa Shallow and deep in 2017, and more recently to UNOC over the Kasurubani block and DGR Global over the Turaco block,” she said.

She added that the Ministry plans to conclude the formulation of a comprehensive National Petroleum Policy before the end of this Financial Year.

“The new policy will create a conducive environment for faster and efficient exploration, development, production, and commercialization of discovered resources and utilization of petroleum products in the country while acknowledging the energy transition initiatives,” she said. She also noted that the government is actively involved in the development of a 60,000 barrels per day oil refinery in Kabaale, Hoima district.

Regarding the East African Crude Oil Pipeline (EACOP), Nankabirwa stated that civil works commenced in August 2023, and the Resettlement Action Plan (RAP) for affected persons within the 10 districts where the EACOP crosses is ongoing.

Napak District Woman Representative, Hon. Faith Nakut, sought assurance from the minister that the first oil will be realized by the end of 2025 considering the slow progress of oil well constructions.

“We are required to have 457 wells versus the accomplished 11 wells… The minister should give us assurance because, in my view, that speed is slow,” Nakut said.

Hon. Christine Apolot (NRM, Kumi District) also called for consistency in the oil production timelines.

“Originally, about 2 years back, the year Ugandans were given for the first production of oil was 2023. So I want to plead with the minister to be consistent with these messages because the population is not going to believe us,” Apolot said.

Nankabirwa stated that the construction of oil wells started this year, and by 2025, the number of wells will have been realized. She also blamed the deadline shifts on Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) and Civil Society Organizations that have been campaigning against the EACOP project