Oil exploration in Nwoya resumes after month’s lull
Posted Thursday, October 24 2013 at 01:00
Cleared area. 80 per cent of their area of operation (Block 1) has been cleared by the Uganda People’s Defence Forces
French Oil explorer Total E&P (Uganda) has resumed exploring for oil in Nwoya District following a green light from the Defence forces that the area is safe.
Total had temporarily suspended its operation North West of the area over safety explanations following the discovery of separate unexploded ordnance (UXOs) or ammunitions while conducting seismic surveys. The suspension was meant to allow the UPDF and the de-mining team to evaluate the risk and take measures. The company said yesterday that 80 per cent of their area of operation (Block 1) has been cleared by the Uganda People’s Defence Forces (UPDF), hence a “partial lifting of the Force majeure.”
The declaration by Total relates to the law of insurance frequently used in mining to protect the parties in the event that a segment of the contract cannot be performed due to causes that are outside the control of the parties, such as natural disasters, that could not be evaded through the exercise of due care. “Only a limited zone remains to be cleared,” said Ms Ahlem Friga-Noy, Total’s corporate affairs manager in statement.
However, she said the firm is still searching for possible hazards. “The risk assessment is still ongoing in this residual part and the operations in this area will resume as soon as it is declared safe by the relevant authorities.”
Ms Friga, earlier explained that since they operate in a sensitive area of Murchison Falls national park; the 3D technology guarantees harmony between the environment and oil exploration activities. Attempts to speak to the UPDF spokesperson, Lt. Col. Paddy Ankuda were fruitless by press time, but he earlier confirmed the army is conducting risk assessment in the area.