Bid rounds: Nigeria remains silent as Uganda woos investors for new oil blocks

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Election season over, Africa’s biggest oil producing country is still silent on its oil licensing round last held in 2007 while other oil-producing countries like Uganda plan to launch a second competitive bid round for exploration licenses in the Albertine Graben area where over 6.5 billion barrels of oil resources have already been discovered.

The hydrocarbon deposits discovered 12 years ago have been repeatedly delayed by a disagreement with oil companies over tax disputes, however Uganda will be offering oil exploration deal for the second time under open bidding, as a result of the success recorded from the first bid round.

According to Irene Muloni, Uganda’s Minister of Energy and Mineral Development, seven new exploration blocks will be open for bidding during the third week of May to coincide with the East African Community Petroleum Conference that is scheduled to take place in Mombasa, Kenya.

Five exploration blocks ranging from 400 to 1300 km2 are expected to be launched for this licensing. Extensive data is available on the blocks including seismic and well data. The licensing round follows the first licensing round through competitive bid which was successfully undertaken in 2017.

“The minimum requirements for bidders have not yet been stipulated by the ministry but will be revealed at the conference,” Muloni said in a press conference.

The area that is being put up for bid has three commercial areas that cover both onshore and offshore blocks include Ngaji in Kanungu and Rukungiri districts; Kasuruban in Buliisa and Packwach; Avivi in Arua district; Turaco in Ntoroko district; and Omuka in Nebbi district.

“We have so far allocated 10 percent of the Graben to the existing firms. From the remaining 90 percent of the Graben, we have picked data and it is this data that has helped … Read More...