KAMPALA Uganda--Uganda's estimated crude oil reserves have
nearly doubled to hit 6.5 billion barrels following the conclusion
of appraisal activities at oil fields in three blocks in Lake
Albertine Rift basin, the country's Petroleum Exploration and
Production Department said Friday.
The increase from the previous estimate of 3.5 billion barrels
follow the conclusion of extensive appraisal activities in oil
blocks licensed to the U.K.'s Tullow Oil PLC (TLW.LN), France's
Total SA (TOT) and China's Cnooc Ltd. (CEO), the head of the state
oil body, Ernest Rubondo, said in an emailed statement.
If confirmed, Uganda's oil fields would leapfrog those in
neighboring South Sudan to become the third largest reserves in
Africa, behind fields in Angola and Nigeria, according to
"The increase in resources is an achievement given that with
improved technology, the recoverable resources have potential to
increase" Mr. Rubondo said "It is also important to note that the
current discovered resources can last 20-30 years."
It is the second time in less than two years that the country is
revising the crude reserve estimates along its western border with
Congo. In 2012, Uganda raised its crude reserves estimates to 3.5
billion barrels from 2.5 billion following the conclusion of
appraisals in block one, operated by Total SA.
Uganda confirmed commercial oil reserves eight years ago but
production has been repeatedly pushed back, due to disagreements
between the government and oil companies over oil development
plans, tax disputes as well as inadequate infrastructure.
East Africa has been a hotspot for oil and natural gas
exploration following a flurry of oil discoveries in Uganda and
Kenya as well as major natural gas discoveries in Tanzania and
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