By CHIKA IZUORA,
The Petroleum Authority of Uganda (PAU) has sought more collaboration with Nigeria to help the country harness her hydrocarbon discovery.The PAU officials were at the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR), to learn how the agency has carried out its professional conduct especially with regard to regulatory activities in the oil and gas industry. Mrs. Betty Namubiru, Manager, National Content, Petroleum Authority of Uganda (PAU), said that the essence of the visit was to learn from Nigeria’s DPR’s operational activities in the oil and gas sector and imbibe some working models adopted by the agency. She said the PAU officials were on a fact-finding mission on how best Uganda’s national petroleum could be optimised for the benefit of its incoming investment to Uganda as a result of construction of the oil facilities and development of 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. Uganda oil reserves estimates remain six billion barrel and the estimates of one billion barrels is 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.
“Oil output is then expected to keep rising and reach fullscale 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. According to her, two oil licences had been 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 to retain about 900 million dollars in-country which represented about 28 per cent.
“We maintained a significant percentage of the money which is retained in the country,” she said.In his remarks, Mr. Mordecai Ladan, the director of DPR, said there was the need for more collaboration between Nigeria and Uganda in the oil and gas development, partnering together to “Power Africa” from abundant oil and gas resources. Ladan, represented by Mr Ahmad Shakur, Deputy Director, Corporate Services, said Uganda could leverage on Nigeria’s experiences for capacity building and knowledge deelopment in key aspects of the oil and gas industry.He said that technology transfer in key areas 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 an advantage position in Africa to put its experience to bear in oil and gas. He, however, commended 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 was working towards increasing its oil reserves to 40 billion barrels from its current 37 billion barrels, while targeting 2.8 billion barrels per day production capacity.