The principal prospective area where oil and gas exploration is taking place in Uganda is the Albertine Graben (AG). The AG forms the northernmost part of the Western arm of the East African Rift Valley and runs along Uganda's western border with the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). It is approximately 500 km long, averaging 45 km in width.
Government's systematic efforts to promote the exploration of oil and gas in the country for the last 29 years have paid off. To date, a total of ninety (90) exploration and appraisal wells have been drilled on the different prospects identified by the seismic data. The outcome of this drilling is a total of 36,000 barrels of crude oil have been produced through extended well testing operations.
As I mentioned earlier, in the medium to long-term, Government intends to develop a medium- to large-scale refinery to process the crude oil discovered so as to produce petroleum products for the country and the region and thereafter consider export options. Development of the refinery will commence with a 60,000 barrels of oil per day refinery to 180,000 barrels of oil per day in the long term. The initial 60,000 BoPD refinery will be developed in a modular manner starting with a 30,000 BoPD refinery. It will be located in the Hoima District, close to where the discoveries have been made. The refinery will be developed on a Private-Public Partnership (PPP) basis through a joint venture company.
Refinery-associated industries also provide immense investment opportunities. These off-shoot industries include utilizing the refinery by-products, together with industries arising from the utilization of natural gas. Refinery by-products can be processed to produce inputs for soaps, plastics, pesticides, paints, medicine, asphalt, petrochemicals and polymers among other. Industries arising from the utilization of natural gas include mineral processing industries, like smelting of iron ore, agro-processing, natural gas conversion to liquids (GTL), manufacture of fertilizers, production of Condensed Natural Gas (CNG), production of carbon black used in tyre manufacturing and others.
Pipeline and Storage Facilities
The associated infrastructure for the refinery includes pipeline and storage facilities. Pipelines will be required to deliver crude oil to the refinery and to transport refined products to markets. Government has carried out studies to evaluate the development of pipelines and storage facilities in the country.
Additional areas of investment in the oil and gas sector which international investors can participate in include: