March 27 (Reuters) - South Africa’s President Jacob Zuma visited Uganda this week with a business delegation, some of whom, according to a Ugandan official are keen to invest in the east African country’s budding oil sector. [ID:nLDE62Q021]
Following are some facts about Uganda’s oil industry and the companies operating in the east African country:
— Uganda has said it will need $8 billion in investments in the next decade to develop its newly discovered oil and gas resources and bring them to the marketplace.
— Investment in Uganda is expected to nearly double to $3 billion in 2010 from 2009 due to growing foreign interest in its oil sector, according to the Uganda Investment Authority.
— France’s Total (TOTF.PA) and China National Offshore Oil Corporation, CNOOC, (0883.HK) are currently in the process of entering a partnership with UK’s Tullow Oil (TLW.L) to jointly operate exploration areas in western Uganda.
— Russia’s LUKOIL (LKOH.MM) has expressed interest in investing in Uganda - a delegation from the company met Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni in Feb. 2010 to discuss their plans.
— Tullow owns half of blocks 1 and 3A, amounting to 4,285 and 1,991 square km respectively. It also owns block 2, covering 4,675 square km, outright and is trying to sell a stake of its interests. Tullow has sunk more than 20 wells to date.
— Heritage HOIL.L owns half of blocks 1 and 3A - Italian firm Eni SpA (ENI.MI) agreed last year to buy the interests from Heritage for $1.35 billion but later opted out of the deal. Tullow has exercised its pre-emption right over Heritage’s sale to Eni and is awaiting government approval, expected in April.
— Dominion Petroleum Ltd. has a 100 percent stake in block 4B covering 2,021 square km with an estimated 378 million barrels of recoverable reserves.
— Tower Resources and Global Petroleum have block 5, covering 6,040 square km. The companies drilled the first well in May/June 2009, but did not find any oil.
— Uganda has nine oil exploration blocks from the Sudan border in the north through Lake Albert on the western border with Democratic Republic of Congo and south to Lake George.
— The area runs over 500 km and about 45 km in width. Blocks 3B, 3C, 3D and 4A are open. The government froze licences in 2007 to create new regulatory policies.
— Only thirty percent of licensed areas have been explored.
— Uganda is believed to have oil reserves of 2 billion barrels, up from 300 million barrels in 2006.
— With the current pace of drilling and recent finds, some analysts say Uganda could be producing around 150,000 barrels per day (bpd) by 2015, making it a top 50 oil producers. (Writing by Carl Bagh, Bangalore Editorial Reference Unit; Editing by David Cutler)