We’re inspired by DPR’s regulatory activities — Ugandan Official

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An official of the Petroleum Authority of Uganda has commended the management of Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR)’s professional conducts in carrying out its regulatory activities in the oil and gas industry.

Mrs Betty Namubiru, Manager, National Content, Petroleum Authority of Uganda (PAU), gave the commendation in Lagos, South-West Nigeria, during their official visit to the agency.

Namubiru said that the essence of the visit was to learn from the DPR’s operational activities in the oil and gas sector and imbibe some of the working models adopted by the agency.

She said the PAU officials were on a fact-finding mission on how best Uganda’s National Petroleum Authority could be optimized for the benefit of its incoming investment to Uganda as a result of construction of the oil facilities and development of the crude oil production.

“We are truly inspired with the professional engagement of the agency in the Nigerian oil and gas industry. We are here to learn from Nigeria on how it has been able to benefit from the oil and gas sector.

“We are at the moment; Ugandan oil reserves estimates remain six billion barrel and the estimates of one billion barrels are the recoverable volumes at the ‘current condition’.

“These reserves can be increased to 1.4 billion barrels from contingent resources, which are qualities of oil and gas estimated to be potentially recoverable but currently not considered to be commercially recoverable due to one or more contingencies,’’  she said.

The PAU Manager said that Uganda was going into development stage of production, and about 20 billion dollars investment had been sunk in the oil and gas to help in the construction and development of the upstream and midstream projects.

“The outlays for this year is part of the close to 20 billion dollars that the government expects over the next three years as joint venture oil company partner to step up activities to commercialised Uganda’s petroleum resources.

“Uganda expects to reach fully-fledged oil production in the next five years following impressive oil exploration result in the Lake Albelt Valley.

“Oil output is then expected to keep rising and reach full-scale in the next five years. By that time, Uganda expects to produce between 40,000 and 60,000 barrels of oil per day,’’ Namubiru said.

She said that the country was also targeting to invest in Greenfield refinery of 60,000 barrel per day production, adding that Uganda is also working towards construction of the crude export pipeline of about 45 kilometres.

Namubiru said that Uganda had unveiled five oil blocs available for licensing bid round in Uganda’s Albertine Graben for further exploration which, she noted, was expected to increase the current oil stack of the country.

Namubiru said that two oil licenses had be awarded to a Nigerian company, Oranto Energy and Australia company called Armor Energy.

She said that through an investment of about 3.5 billion dollars, the company was able retain about 900 million dollars in-country which represent about 28 percent.

“We maintained significant percentage of the money, which is retained in the country towards nationalization.”

In his remarks, Mr Mordecai Ladan, the Director of DPR, said that there was need for more collaboration between Nigeria and Uganda in the oil and gas development, partnering together to “Power Africa” from abundant oil and gas resource.

Ladan, represented by Mr Ahmad Shakur, Deputy Director, Corporate Services, said Uganda could leverage on Nigeria’s experiences for capacity building and knowlege development in key aspects of the oil and gas industry.

He said that technology transfer in key area across the oil and gas value chain was important, while investment opportunity across the value chain was also key.

Ladan said Nigeria’s abundant hydrocarbon and human resources placed it at a vantage position in Africa to bring its experience to bear in oil and gas.

He, however, hailed the initiative of PAU in undertaking a learning mission to Nigeria and pledged necessary regulatory support, adding that Nigeria was working through its challenges to transform the industry and economy and maintain its position as the giant of Africa.

He said that Nigeria is working towards increasing its oil reserved to 40 billion barrels from its current 37 billion barrel, while targeting 2.8 billion barrel per day production capacity.

“Our vision is to ensure the sustainable development of Nigeria’s oil and gas resources across the value chain for our stakeholders through effective regulation, while entrenching world class professionalism, accountability, and transparency.

“Government is also working hard to eliminate gas flaring in the country as it’s gradually reducing.

“Close to 80 percent of gas utilization is domestic for power which we intend to increase,”  he said.

Amaka E. Nliam