Uganda names 16 firms eligible for first licensing round

Uganda’s government has granted approval to 16 companies to bid on exploration rights for six blocks in the nation’s Albertine Graben region.

The blocks are the 410-sq-km Ngassa in Hoima district; 565-sq-km Taitai and Karuka in Buliisa district; 895-sq-km Ngaji in Rukungiri and Kanungu districts; 344-sq-km Mvule in Moyo and Yumbe districts; and 425-sq-km Turaco and 344-sq-km Kanywantaba in Ntoroko district.

Tenders were announced in February (OGJ Online, Feb. 26, 2015). Ugandan officials estimate the Albertine Graben may contain more than 6.5 billion bbl of oil resources.

“Sixteen of the 17 firms that submitted the applications met the evaluation criteria as spelt out in the request for qualification document and will therefore proceed to the request for proposal stage of this licensing round,” explained Fred Kabagambe-Kaliisa, permanent secretary of Uganda’s Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development.

“The firms were evaluated based on their technical competence, financial capabilities, legal qualifications, as well as national content and health, safety, and environment track record,” he said.

The 16 firms are:

· African Global Resources, a joint venture comprising Telconet Capital Ltd., RT-Global Resources LLC, and JSC Tatneft, each of Russia.

· Norway’s Petrica Energy AS.

· Turkey’s Petoil (Uganda) Ltd.

· Ireland’s Tullow Uganda Operations Pty Ltd.

· Canada’s Rift Energy Uganda Ltd.

· US’s Glint Energy LLC.

· Australia’s Armour Energy Ltd.

· Australia’s Swala Energy (Uganda) Ltd.

· Nigeria’s Oranto Petroleum International Ltd.

· Nigeria’s Niger Delta Petroleum Resources Ltd.

· Nigeria’s Waltersmith Petroman Oil Ltd.

· African Exploration Venture, a JV comprising Rapid Africa Energy Pty Ltd. and Africa Energy SA Corp., both of South Africa.

· South Africa’s Sasol Exploration and Production International Ltd.

· India’s Oil & Natural Gas Corp. Videsh Ltd.

· China’s and Hong Kong’s Brightoil Petroleum (Uganda) Ltd.

· UAE’s MDC Oil and Gas Holding Co. LLC.

The ministry says “in due course” it will issue to the qualified firms a request for proposal and modal production-sharing agreement documents after the mandatory acquisition of data from the data room at the Directorate of Petroleum in Entebbe.

Tullow Uganda Operations Pty. Ltd., Total E&P Uganda, and China National Offshore Oil Corp. Uganda Ltd. are currently licensed in Albertine Graben.

The Ugandan government also has completed the process of incorporating the Uganda National Oil Co. Ltd. under the Petroleum Exploration, Development and Production Act 2013.

“Now that we have incorporated the national oil company, government is set to take up its position on the business side of the oil and gas industry,” said Kabagambe-Kaliisa.

The PSAs provide for government participation through a carried interest of up to 15%. The firms carry the 15% on behalf of the government during the exploration and development phases until commencement of production, whereby Uganda National Oil Co. takes over the interest.

Uganda National Oil Co. is also expected manage through a subsidiary its 40% interests in the nation’s first refinery, led by RT Global Resources alongside partners Telconet Capital, Tatneft, VTB Capital PLC, and GS Engineering & Construction Corp. (OGJ Online, Feb. 17, 2015).

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