According to The EastAfrican, the second round of bids for Uganda’s oil licensing round that expired at the end of September ended with no new expressions of interest received from oil companies to explore the five new blocks on offer in the Albertine Graben.
The five blocks are Block01 (Avivi) covering 1,026 square kilometres; Block02 (Omuka) covering 750 square kilometres, Block03 (Kasuruban) covering 1,285 square kilometres, Block04 (Turaco) covering 637 square kilometres and Block05 (Ngaji) covering 1230 square kilometres.
The second bid round was aimed at increasing international investment into Uganda’s energy sector and the government is hoping to sign production sharing agreements and give exploration licenses to successful firms.
The Permanent Secretary of Uganda’s Ministry of Energy, Robert Kasande, said the country will proceed with the licensing. “We got six applications in total; these are the ones we are going to evaluate”.
The applications to be evaluated are from local and international companies that had expressed interest to vie for the five blocks on offer before the first deadline of March 2020. The Ministry said the low number is because of the conditions of the global economy due to the COVID-19 pandemic which caused the country to extend the expression of interests until 30th September.
The country’s competitive licensing round in 2017 also did not yield the desired result as no global oil major made a bid, rather 17 small oil firms did, with only two of them picked. The two were Nigeria’s Oranto Petroleum that was awarded the license for Ngassa oil Block and Australia’s Armour Energy Ltd that was awarded the licence for Kanywataba Block.
Uganda has awarded nine production licenses in total. They are Kingfisher field to China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC) in 2012, Mputa-Nzizi-Waraga, Kasemene-Wahrindi, Kigogole-Ngara, Ngege fields to Tullow Uganda in 2016 and Ngiri, Jobi-Rii and Gunya fields to Total E&P Uganda in 2016.