Uganda increases estimated oil reserves at Lake Albertine Rift basin
The Ugandan government said that its estimated oil reserves in the Lake Albertine Rift basin have increased to 3.5 bn barrels from 2.5 bn barrels, following months of rigorous appraisal and drilling activities. Ernest Rubondo, the head of the country's Petroleum Production and Exploration department, said that over the past several months, oil exploration companies have appraised various wells in blocks 1 and 2, boosting the potential of the basin.
"I can confirm that our reserves have increased to 3.5 bn barrels," Mr Rubondo said, adding that the basin still has potential for more discoveries.
Blocks 1 and 2 are operated by France's Total and UK's Tullow Oil respectively.
Uganda first announced commercial oil in the basin in 2006, but the East African nation is yet to start crude pumping amid a spat with companies over the oil production plans and refining options. Tullow, Total and China’s CNOOC said earlier that they would invest at least $ 10-12 bn to develop the oil fields by 2017.
The Ugandan government has appointed a panel to review and approve the oil development plans but it has not yet indicated when the plan is likely to be approved.
According to Tullow, first oil output is expected 36 months after the approval of the plan.