KAMPALA: Uganda’s first oil rig, which is set to start the country’s oil production phase, has arrived at Mombasa Port, Kenya.
According to China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC), one of the companies in oil exploration in Uganda, the rig left Yantai Port, China on July 29, 2022.
In a tweet, CNOOC said the rig marks “steps to first oil.”
“We are committed to delivering first oil to Uganda and there’s no turning back,” the oil firm said in a tweet.
The rig is expected to be assembled in Uganda, tested and then readied for the start of oil production.
The development phase—construction of the required infrastructure to pump the nearly 1.4 billion barrels of Uganda’s recoverable oil reserves—is in overdrive across the Tilenga and Kingfisher development projects, respectively, which straddle the districts of Nwoya, Buliisa, Hoima and Kikuube. The race against time is on to start commercial oil production in the last quarter of 2025
Several pads have been built in the Albertine Grabben. One is at the Kingfisher Oil Development Area in the Hoima district. The rig will be moved from one well pad to another, according to officials.
A well pad is a site of facilities and other infrastructure for oil and gas drilling. One or two or more oil wells can be plugged onto a single well pad.
The JR 5, part of Exploration Area-1, east of Albert Nile, is one the 10 planned well pads inside the Murchison Falls National park.
To get here, a narrow dirt path veers at Pakuba junction, off the main Tangi-Packwach road, into the wilderness to the well pad working, cut off the greenery by an encircled camp site. Large mounds of loam soil are scattered all over the place, both inside and outside the camp.
The JR 5 well pad on which sixteen—production and injection—wells will be looped using a network of conductor pipes drilled together into the ground, alongside other oil fields, Ngiri, Gunya, Kigogole, Nsoga, and Kasamene, south of Lake Albert, form the Tilenga development project operated by TotalEnergies EP.
The project will produce about 230,000-barrels of oil per day to be fed into the proposed East African Crude Oil Pipeline (EACOP), and the not-about-to materialise refinery project.