Total halts Nwoya oil operations
Posted Monday, September 30 2013 at 01:00
The oil firm whose exploration areas are still under appraisal, has engaged an Israeli firm to assess risks.
For nearly a week now, French oil giant Total E&P, is uncertain on the recommencement of oil discovery operations in the Nwoya exploration area.
The company temporarily halted its operation north west of the area over safety explanations following the discovery of unexploded ordnance (UXOs) or ammunitions while conducting seismic surveys.
Total’s corporate affairs manager Ahlem Friga, told this newspaper that the company is in dialogue with the ministries of Defence and Energy over the matter, and operations will resume anytime. “Our goal is to resume the 3D activities as soon as possible while guaranteeing the safety of all personnel involved in this operation,” she said.
Ms Friga narrated; On September 16th, the 3D seismic survey team discovered unexploded ammunition on the ground, South West of Nwoya District. They immediately engaged the Uganda People’ Defence Forces and Petroleum Exploration and Production Department (PEPD), and the ammunition were destroyed two days later. However, another round of UXO was found a day later and destroyed.
But, “After the second discovery, we decided to suspend our 3D seismic activity to avoid putting at risk its personnel and UWA rangers,” she said, adding that consequently, “We declared the force majeure on the 3D operations to assess the risk and to take appropriate measures.”
PEPD’s communication officer Gloria Sebikari, said last week, that UPDF was contacted and they are handling the situation.
The force majeure declared 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.
UPDF spokesperson Lt Col. Paddy Ankunda, said “Assessment of the area was still continuing and the situation was being handled.”