PAU Allows Resumption Of CNOOC's Kingfisher Operations

The Petroleum Authority of Uganda (PAU) has lifted the suspension of works at the Kingfisher Development Area (KFDA) in Kikuube District, paving the way for the resumption of operations.

Ernest Rubondo, Executive Director of the Authority said: “This step has been taken after rigorous examination of all standard procedures to ensure that the health and safety requirements are being robustly implemented by all contractors and sub-contractors. The Authority has reviewed and realigned the safety protocols with the operator for overall improvement in the HSE culture and practices during operations.”

The resumption of operations comes after additional preliminary safety measures have been instituted, and an overall strategy on contractor HSE management enhanced. 

The Petroleum Authority of Uganda is satisfied that the agreed procedures, when implemented, will ensure the safety and well-being for all during the oil and gas operations.

Kingfisher oil fields are operated by Chinese oil company called CNOOC Uganda, a subsidiary of CNOOC International. 

CNOOC Uganda Sends 3 To Study Petroleum Engineering In China

CNOOC Uganda Limited has offered scholarships to three Ugandans to study a Bachelor of Petroleum Engineering at the China University of Petroleum-East China. The three beneficiaries of CNOOC's International Scholarship Program were unveiled at a prestigious send-off ceremony in Kampala.

The oil company said the purpose of this scholarship program is to enhance capacity building and skills development in the oil and gas industry. The program also promotes and ensures National Content participation in the oil and gas industry and demonstrates that CNOOC values its area of operation and communities in it. 

CNOOC revealed that since 2014, they have so far sponsored eight Ugandan students, five at bachelor’s level and three at master’s level to undertake studies at China University of Petroleum (East China).

"The latest three will continue in their footsteps to become our future drilling engineers, production engineers and completions engineers in the Ugandan oil and gas sector," CNOOC said.

Jean Remmy Amanya, one of the beneficiaries of this prestigious scholarship thanked CNOOC and together the other beneficiaries committed to a brighter future. He emphasized the importance of education as a transformative tool for Uganda and the world.

The President of CNOOC Uganda Limited, Liu Xiangdong, said the three scholarship recipients, consisting of one female and two males, were chosen through a highly competitive selection process, highlighting their exceptional academic prowess and dedication.

The three beneficiaries are Amanya Jean Remmy from Hoima district, Musinguzi Ronald from Kikuube district and Nanyunja Hadijah from Kampala.

160 Ugandans Graduate With Oil And Gas Welding Skills

A partnership between CNOOC Uganda Limited, Sunmaker Oil and Gas Training Institute and Uganda Petroleum Institute Kigumba (UPIK) has seen 160 Ugandans graduate in welding techniques for the oil andgas activities in Uganda.

CNOOC said the two months training equipped trainees with proper techniques, theory and practical based knowledge using SMAW (Shielded Metal ArcWelding). The training courses encompass skills required in the welding industry, with emphasis on tubular assemblies, CNOOC said.

The training program is part of the National Content enhancement activities for the Kingfisher Development Area (KFDA) Project to empower and enhance the knowledge of local technicians through training towards international certification.

The program comprised of the first set of 80 students trained in Shielded Metal Arc Welding (SMAW) 1G, 2G, and 3G welding which follows the International Standards of American Welding Society (AWS) and American Petroleum Institute (API).

The second group of another 80 students received training in 4G, 5G and 6G SMAW which follows the same International Standards of AWS and API. The major goal of 3G and 6G welding courses is to prepare participants for oil and gas piping systems including pipeline and refinery constructions.

The welding involves assembling, maintaining, and installing structural units. These 160 Ugandan students originated from the Albertine region districts of Hoima, Kikuube, Nwoya, Masindi, Buliisa, Kibale, Kiryandongo, Kakumiro, Kagadi, Kyankwanzi, Mubende, Sembabule, Lwengo, Rakai and Kyotera.

CNOOC, Contractors Donate Shs1.8bn To Needy School In Entebbe

Entebbe Children Welfare School was on the receiving end after CNOOC Uganda Limited visited them to deliver a cash donation of $500, 000 (approx. Shs1.8 billion).

This bounty is a collection pooled together by CNOOC and the companies contracted to work in the Kingfisher Oilfield Project.

Entebbe Children Welfare School is an educational institution serving vulnerable and disadvantaged children with different disabilities.

The oil company said the contribution is a testament to their commitment to corporate social responsibility and their ongoing efforts to enable children to access comfortable education.

The financial contribution will aid in the improvement of the school's infrastructural facilities and educational resources to provide a conducive learning environment.

CNOOC said of the $500,000, $50,000 came from China Construction, $150,000 from COOEC and CPECC, $150,000 from Daqing Oil Field Company and $150,000 from COSL.

CNOOC Uganda Limited also donated souvenirs to the school.

Hu Weijie, the acting President of CNOOC Uganda Limited, expressed his enthusiasm about the partnership and the shared vision of empowering Ugandans through education.

He stated that CNOOC believes in the transformative power of education. “We aim to enhance the learning experience and provide opportunities for students to excel academically.

We are honoured to collaborate with our contractors and make a meaningful difference in the lives of the vulnerable children who represent the future of Uganda," Weijie said.

DR Congo Entry Into EAC Good For Uganda Oil & Gas Sector

By Dr. Abel Tindao

The Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) has joined the East Africa Community (EAC) at a critical time for Uganda and its quest to become an oil and gas producer. Uganda and partners - Tanzania, TotalEnergies, CNOOC Uganda and others – in February announced the Final Investment Decision (FID) that will see international oil companies invest about $15bn in the Albertine Graben, western Uganda.

Uganda, with 6.2bn barrels of yet to be extracted crude oil (1.7bn said to be recoverable) shares a political boundary with DRC. Already, endowed with various minerals like gold, diamond and other, DRC, according to a 2012 seismic survey, suspects to have about 3bn barrels in the blocks around the Lake Albert basin. This basin is shared by both countries.

It is important to note that while Uganda and DRC are politically friendly, the continued instability in East DRC, including harbouring Ugandan rebels is detrimental to regional peace, doing business, development and social welfare. But now that DRC has joined the EAC, there is hope that the bloc can as a group pacify that part of DRC.

Existing collaboration between Uganda & DRC

Late last year, Uganda and DRC collaborated to help Uganda People’s Defense Forces (UPDF) flush out Allied Defense Forces (ADF) rebels out of their hideouts inside DRC using what has been called Operation Shuja. The ADF, backed by terrorism groups like Al Shabaab and Al Qaeda, had bombed two separate targets in Uganda’s capital Kampala. This collaboration is an indication that more collaborations can be achieved more so if they are economic.

In December of 2021 it was reported that Uganda had started building 223km of roads in the DRC at a cost estimated to be USD330m to improve trade in the two countries.

In 2020, DRC exported $17.7M to Uganda. The main products that DRC exported to Uganda are Raw Tobacco ($4.65M), Scrap Iron ($3.73M), and Sawn Wood ($3.15M). In the last 25 years the exports of DRC to Uganda have increased at an annualized rate of 16.1%, from $421, 000 in 1995 to $17.7M in 2020.

In 2020, Uganda exported $265M to DRC. The main products that Uganda exported to DRC were Cement ($40.6M), Palm Oil ($24.2M), and Rice ($12.2M). In the last 25 years the exports of Uganda to DRC have increased at an annualized rate of 8.03%, from $38.4M in 1995 to $265M in 2020.

With these number as provided by the Observatory of Economic Complexity (OEC), an online data visualization and distribution platform, Uganda stands to benefit from this arrange by exporting more to the DRC< a country with a population of 90 million people.

The two above collaboration show to what extent the two countries eying economic transformation can go. And now that they are endowed with rich natural resources, there is so much they can achieve if they focus on being good neighbors, promote peace, economic recovery and pan Africanism.

Untapped potential waiting

Of the entire Albertine Graben endowed with huge potential of hydrocarbons, Uganda has explored only 40 percent and will in the next 25 years when the confirmed recoverable oil is expected to be depleted, Uganda will have earned a humongous USD50bn. But that is anything to be worried about. Already Oranto Petroleum and Armour Energy have been licensed to do exploration in that area.

Also, the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development (MEMD) has sent out expression of interest for oil and gas exploration. Uganda National Oil Company (UNOC) is teaming up China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC Uganda) to venture into that. This is an indication of how rich the Albertine Graben is and the prospects for Uganda continue to look good.

The DRC is already an oil producing country, positioned number 12 in Africa, depending largely on its coastal production activities in the western part of the country. But Sub Sahara’s largest country has huge untapped potential on borders of Uganda.

TotalEnergies, the oil company commandeering the development and eventual production of Uganda’s oil is said ‘to be chasing for business in DRC’ with a mission to tap into their resources. The oil company and Uganda & DRC can harmonize their interests and come up with a formula that will see the natural resources exploited and benefit the citizens.

Protecting the environment, rich biodiversity

Of course this has to be done sustainably since it is in an eco-sensitive area rich in biodiversity. You wouldn’t want to extract the hydrocarbon at the expense of the environment. That would be disastrous and irresponsible. Already, Civil Society Organisations (CSO) have sounded worries that fossil fuels is putting the environment in Lake Albert basin at risk and fueling climate change.

To avert such fears, Uganda has a good National Oil Gas Policy whose mission is to create everlasting value from the resources and law regimes that are protective of not only revenues that will be accrued from the oil and gas production but also the environment. DRC can bench on what Uganda has achieved, and of course, Uganda can offer what it has learnt so far.

Tightening security & ensuring peace

In the jungles of eastern DRC, proximately next to Uganda, there over 133 rebel or militia groups funded by the illicit minerals trade. These militias are a menace and if not dealt with can curtail the proper and sustainable exploitation of these natural resources.

We have seen this happen in Nigeria’s Delta where militia bomb and set oil pipelines ablaze. Uganda and DRC need to find a domestic solution to this because, like we have seen, even with the presence of United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO), a UN peacekeeping force hasn’t stopped these militias from causing havoc.

Sometimes Lake Albert has seen Ugandan fishermen attacked by armed civilians or DRC soldiers and robbed clean while on the lake in Ugandan waters. This continues to happen even when the Ugandan government protested to their counterpart in Kinshasa. This cannot continue especially when exploration for oil is ongoing on the lake. Gun wielding bandits are a risk to manpower undertaking exploration. Oil companies wouldn’t want to invest and risk the lives of their workers like that.

It is therefore important that the two countries work out a solution and give investors and oil companies a guarantee that they are safe. Investor confidence is earned.

The writer is a Ugandan marine security expert.

PATRICK POUYANNÉ: We Are Fully Aware Of Social & Environmental Challenges Uganda Oil Projects Present

The Chairman and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of TotalEnergies, Patrick Pouyanné, has promised that the lead joint venture partner in the development and eventual production of Uganda's oil and gas resources will use the Lake Albert Development Project as an exemplary project in terms of shared prosperity and sustainable development.

The Lake Albert Development Project has come under scrutiny from Civil Society Organizations who argue that the project possess risks to the environment and the social wellbeing of host communities not only in Uganda and Tanzania but also in DR Congo.

But Pouyanné is quelling these fears saying that TotalEnergies is committed to implementing action plans that will have a net positive impact on biodiversity as part of the implementation of these projects.

“We are fully aware of the important social and environmental challenges it represents. We will pay particular attention to use local skills, to develop them through training programs, to boost the local industrial sector in order to maximize the positive local return of this project," said Patrick Pouyanné, chairman and CEO of TotalEnergies.

He added: "With today's signing of a framework agreement on renewable energy, we are laying the foundation to implement our multi-energy strategy in Uganda and contribute to people's access to energy."

TotalEnergies maintains that this oil development is in line with TotalEnergies' strategy of only approving new projects if they are low-cost and low emissions.

In particular, the design of the facilities incorporates several measures to limit greenhouse gas emissions well below 20 kg CO2eq/boe, including the extraction of Liquefied Petroleum Gas for use in regional markets as a substitute for burning biomass, and the solarization of the EACOP pipeline.

On 1st February, 2022 TotalEnergies and the energy ministry signed a MoU for the development of renewable energy with the objectives of developing 1GW of installed capacity, promoting access to electricity and clean energy, supporting national climate change objectives through the deployment of carbon footprint reduction projects.

Earlier, that day Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni, the Vice-President of Tanzania, Patrick Pouyanné, representatives of China National Offshore Oil Corporation, Uganda National Oil Company and the Tanzania Petroleum Development Corporation announced the final investment decision for the the Lake Albert Development Project.

The Lake Albert Development Project encompasses the Tilenga and Kingfisher upstream oil projects in Uganda and the construction of the East African Crude Oil Pipeline (EACOP) in Uganda and Tanzania.

The Tilenga project, operated by TotalEnergies, and the Kingfisher project, operated by CNOOC, are expected to start producing in 2025 and to reach a cumulative plateau production of 230,000 barrels per day.

The upstream partners are TotalEnergies (56.67%), CNOOC (28.33%) and UNOC (15%).

Production from the oil fields in Uganda will be transported to the port of Tanga in Tanzania through the EACOP cross-border pipeline, whose shareholders are TotalEnergies (62%), UNOC (15%), TPDC (15%) and CNOOC (8%).

TotalEnergies says that all partners are committed to implementing these projects in an exemplary manner, taking into consideration the environmental and biodiversity stakes, as well as the rights of the concerned communities, in accordance with the stringent performance standards of the International Finance Corporation (IFC).  

70 Drivers Get Heavy Goods Vehicles Certificates To Enable Them Work In Oil & Gas Industry

By George Busingye

Chinese oil and gas company CNOOC Uganda Limited has awarded certificates to 70 drivers who have undergone the training of Heavy Goods Vehicle (HGV).

These have been equipped with skills required in the oil and gas sector in a training that commenced in October this year.

The three months program provided interactive forum for instructors to share, explore and discuss concepts and issues of HGV driving and road safety.

The drivers have been awarded certificates in accordance with the East African Community curriculum.

Speaking as the guest of honor Mutiti Nyendwoha, the first deputy Prime Minister for Bunyoro Kitara Kingdom, asked the graduands to be trustworthy, obedient and respect their employees while at work if they are to be successful.

“Fuel siphoning should be prohibited because it’s a vice that is common among truck drivers,” the first deputy Prime Minister told drivers, adding that the kingdom is grateful for the partnership they have with CNOOC Uganda.

The head of Heavy Goods Vehicle training from CNOOC Matayo Kyaligonza revealed that all these drivers that have been trained were selected from 6 districts of Bunyoro. The distrists Hoima, Masindi, Kikuube, Buliisa and greater Kibaale

The intention for this was capture and embed local content. Matayo added local content among truck drivers has not been given apriority which was not good to the kingdom of Bunyoro.

Of the 70 graduands, six were females.

The selection of trainees in this particular cohort was undertaken in partnership with Bunyoro Kitara Kingdom that supported the identification and selection process together with the implementing service provider Uganda Driving Standards Agency.

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