President Museveni commissions  drilling of kingfisher oil fields in KiKuube, asks locals to cash in by producing food


in Kikuube

President Museveni has  commissioned the drilling of oil and development of production wells for the Kingfisher oil fields in Kikuube district, operated by CNOOC Uganda and joint venture partners UNOC and Total E&P.-paving way for commercial production of oil in Uganda for the first time by 2025.

Cnooc plans to use the commissioned rig to drill part of the 31 well pads from which oil will be extracted .Museveni vowed that Uganda will continue to develop its oil and gas resources alongside other sources of energy.

“We shall develop our oil resource but also develop solar energy. Solar energy is our ancient energy here for Africans…We’re going to use the solar power, the wind power, the hydropower but also the oil as we develop the others,” said Museveni.

The president allayed  fears that Uganda’s oil will  not get market because of the rapid shift to E- mobility saying that oil and its by-products  can be used for  the production of many other marketable products . Industry experts have stated  that only 30% of oil is used for mobility purposes .

“And even when the others are fully developed, still petroleum is needed for other products not necessarily for fuel. The shirt I’m putting on has got some polyester in it and polyester is from petrol. We need some tan to make kolasi (tarmac) to make roads, we need the fertilizers, nitrogen from ammonium – all these are from petroleum. So we can use the petroleum responsibly.

The other ones cause problems for the world in global warming because of greed. They are greedy for money, they don’t think about anything else, they are the ones who cause the world those problems,” a jovial Museveni stated.

The president rallied the locals to engage in producing food which will be consumed by companies operating the fields and which will result in immense economic benefits.

The Chinese ambassador Zhang Lizong called the launch a powerful indicator of economic transformation coming in the years later.

The Executive Director of the Petroleum Authority of Uganda (PAU), Mr. Earnest Rubondo said that  in order to produce the volumes that are expected from the Kingfisher and Tilenga projects, drilling of the wells for production have to be done in advance.

“Those volumes require production from many wells. So you need to start drilling these wells early. So that when the day of production reaches, you begin to have production from the different wells.”

According to Rubondo, the drilling that has been commissioned is for the first production well that will produce oil in the Kingfisher field. Construction of the Kingfisher project is being undertaken by a joint venture of China Offshore Oil Engineering Company and China Petroleum and Construction Corporation.    

Energy Minister Speaks out

The Tilenga project will be expected to have a peak production of 190,000 barrels per day, whereas the Kingfisher field will have a plateau of 40,000 barrels per day at First Oil.

According to the Minister of Energy Ruth Nankabirwa, the Kingfisher fields have the capacity to produce oil and gas resources from 20 wells, with 11 water injection wells to maintain pressure to support production.

The Tilenga project which covers parts of the Buliisa and Nwoya districts, North and South of the Victoria Nile will be undertaken through onshore drilling from 31 well pads with three drilling rigs.

“Efforts have been made towards completing the first well pad to be drilled (JBR-5) in time for the expected spudding of the first Tilenga development well at the end of Quarter 1, 2023,” she said adding that one of the three rigs required to drill the 426 wells for the Tilenga Project arrived in Mombasa in October 2022.

In regards to commercialization of the country’s oil and gas resources, the EACOP project is taking lead to provide Uganda’s crude oil access to the international market while the Uganda Refinery Project will have the first call on crude oil.

“The EACOP will be a transboundary pipeline consisting of a 30 meters wide corridor totaling to 1,443kms starting at Kabaale in Hoima stretching to Chongoleani in Tanga Tanzania. Construction of the EACOP has commenced in Tanzanian section and in Uganda its expected this year,” she said.

The minister added that the Uganda Refinery Project whose Final Investment Decision (FID) is expected to be concluded this year will include the construction of a 213-kilometre refined products pipeline from Hoima to Namwabula-Mpigi.


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