Uganda’s Oil Journey: UNOC awarded Petroleum Exploration License to begin Development of Kasuruban block

By Sierra Ruth Arinaitwe

The Government of Uganda represented by the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development has issued the Uganda National Oil Company (UNOC) a two-year Petroleum Exploration License for the development of the Kasuruban block.

The license was issued to UNOC after signing of the Production Sharing Agreements (PSA) for Petroleum Exploration, Development and Production during a meeting presided over by the Minister of Energy and Mineral Development Hon. Ruth Nankabirwa. The signing was also witnessed by the Deputy Atoorney General Mr. Jackson Kafuuzi ,the Permanent Secretary Ministry Energy, Eng. Irene Batebe and officials the Petroleum Authority of Uganda.

Hon. Nankabirwa stated that issuing of the license and signing of the production sharing agreement with UNOC followed the enactment of the required policy, legal and regulatory frameworks for the Oil and Gas sector which attests to government’s commitment to fulfil the objectives and principles of the National Oil and Gas policy.

Energy Minister making remarks at the signing of the PSA with UNOC at the Ministry ‘s head office in Kampala

“The Government decided to implement open, transparent and competitive licensing rounds as required by the Petroleum (Exploration, Development and Production) Act, 2013,” the Minister expailned while pointing out -that the awarding of the license and signing of the production sharing agreement gives a go ahead to UNOC to begin the exploration of the Kasuruban contract area which covers the districts of Bulisa, Hoima and Masindi with an acreage of 1285 Sq. Kilometers.

According to the agreement, UNOC is expected to make some payments to the Uganda Petroleum Fund account which will be used to develop the contract area and fund other national projects like roads, extension of electricity supply among others.

“The company has paid the required amount sum of USD 155,700 for the signature bonus, research and training fees, and annual Acreage rental fees for the Kasuruban Contract Area.”

PS Eng. Batebe said the second round of licensing was meant to widen the country’s resource base

The Permanent Secretary Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development Ms. Irene Batebe said that the Second Licensing Round for Petroleum Exploration was implemented in order to attract additional investment in the country’s oil and gas sector, expand the country’s resource base, enhance the country’s sustainability of oil and gas production; and to respond to the numerous investors who expressed interest in investing in the country’s oil and gas industry.

Eng. Betebe further stated that UNOC’s exploration license is for two years and renewal for subsequent exploration periods will be subject to UNOC’s acquiring joint venture partners to carry out its financial obligations for the exploration periods and satisfaction to government of the agreed work program obligations .

The Chief Executive Officer of UNOC Proscovia Nabbanja noted that the company has a cardinal role to play in the oil value chain to ensure sustainable exploitation of the country’s oil resources and pledged to ensure that they fulfil all the petroleum obligations of the contract area in accordance to the provided framework.

Uganda National Oil Company is a company duly organized and existing under the laws of Uganda, and registered in Uganda under the Companies Act of 2012 as Uganda National Oil Company Limited (UNOC). UNOC is part of the Joint Venture Partners and carries State Participation of 15% in each of the Production Licenses issued to TotalEnergies EP Uganda BV and CNOOC Uganda Limited.

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