The Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development has refuted claims that it has licensed two Nigerian companies to undertake oil and gas exploration activities as reported by news outlets in Nigeria.
The Daily Trust newspaper in Nigeria quoting Africa oil and gas magazine reported that Waltersmith Petroman Oil Limited and Niger Delta Petroleum Resources (NDPR) who are apparently combined with Oranto Petroleum have been allocated two acreages in the Albertine Graben in western Uganda.
The newspaper said Waltersmith has won the Turaco shallow and deep acreage while Niger Delta Petroleum Resources has been given Ngassa block. However an official at the energy ministry in Kampala who declined not to be named because he doesn’t speak for the ministry said this was not true before referring to the communication department.
When contacted for clarification, Ibrahim Kasita, the communications specialist at the ministry, denied the report saying they has not reached such a decision. "The licensing process is still ongoing and government will inform the public when concluded." Kasita briefly commented without giving without giving the dates when government will reach such a decision.
The mentioned Nigerian companies are part of the oil companies that were shortlisted before the ministry finally makes their choices to allocate the six blocks. Other companies include African Global Resources of Russia, Petrica Energy AS of Norway, Armour Energy Limited of Australia and Rift Energy Uganda Limited from Canada.
African Exploration Venture from South Africa, Glint Energy, LLC from USA, Oil and Natural Gas Corporation of India, SASOL Exploration and Production International of South Africa, Brightoil Petroleum from China, Petoil (Uganda) Limited of Turkey, Swala Energy (Uganda) Limited of Australia and MDC Oil and Gas Holding Company, LLC from United Arab Emirates were also listed.