Drillers expect to find more oil in Uganda

Jul 11, 2006 02:00 AM

The companies exploring for oil in the western Uganda Lake Albert area, have said there are more chances of discovering bigger quantities of oil under the Lake Albert than has been discovered offshore.
"We strongly believe there is more oil under the lake as opposed to under the land because we believe that given the nature of the rocks here, the lake forms the kitchen or the catchment area while that under land is just part of the 'tributaries' because we think that the oil reservoirs are springing from the middle and spreading out in a spider-like form, making smaller oil fields around the catchment area. This is why we believe we are going to make a bigger discovery with Kingfisher 1," claims Mr Bryan Westwood, Heritage Gas and Oil General Manager.

Kingfisher 1 is the company's second attempt at finding clean oil following the discovery of hydro-carbon contaminated oil at their premier Turaco wells, a few kilometres from the south eastern shores of Lake Albert.
"This is why we are already preparing for a bigger investment in drilling the middle of the lake. We have people already looking at the lake; we have got geologists and geophysicists looking at the lake wave foundations. We are preparing a very big Environment Impact Assessment for a possible rig well in the middle of the lake which we shall call Pelican," he added.

Mr John Morley, Country Manager, Hardman also told that Lake Albert presented more and bigger opportunities than what has been discovered already.
"Hardman is also assessing how to initiate exploration under Lake Albert where there are potentially larger structures but exploration will be technically more difficult. It is our intention to aggressively pursue these discoveries and potential resources with further exploration, particularly under Lake Albert where the big prize potentially exists," he said.

Hardman recently flow-tested their Waraga 1 well and confirmed good quality waxy crude oil. The company is yet to verify the amount of available reserves. Westwood, however, said that to undertake the huge investment needed to drill over water, the company has had to first ascertain oil presence by drilling the Kingfisher 1 at Bugoma, 24 km north of Ntoroko where Heritage dug their Turaco wells.
"Kingfisher 1 unlike Hardman's wells is going to be very, very deep. We are going to go down to a maximum of 4-km down because we believe that the main oil is this deep. If we find it at 3 km, so much the better. If by 3 km we have not found it, we may start drilling at an angle towards the lake. Once we make a good find here we shall go further into the lake but outside DRC. We shall have to bring in up to about 6 more badges on which we shall station our rig," he said.

He said it would take about 90 days to hit the 4-km mark.
"You should expect some news from us sometime in November," he said. He said they were higher chances that the oil to be discovered at Kingfisher 1 is carbon dioxide free, just like that discovered by Hardman.
"We very strongly feel that since Hardman has found clean oil in the very same valley, we are confident that this time there won't be any carbon dioxide. Besides, there is a piece of fault in the rocks south of Kingfisher, which we think stops the carbon dioxide from spreading further up north. We have also done an extensive analysis of the whole lake for carbon dioxide and we have discovered that the further north you go, the less the chances of getting carbon dioxide and Hardman has proved it," he added.

He also said that even if they do not make any discoveries at Kingfisher 1, they would still go ahead with the lake drilling.
Westwood added that soon, Heritage in partnership with UK-based Tullow oil would begin exploration in the West Nile area. Tullow oil has a 50 % stake both in the Heritage and Hardman ventures in Uganda.

Source: The Monitor
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