Total in no rush to start oil production
Posted Monday, October 7 2013 at 01:00
Kampala- France’s Total E&P-Uganda has said it is not in a rush to start oil production, and its programmes are still on course in accordance with time-frames provided by the government.
In a wide ranging interview last week with the Daily Monitor, Total’s general manager Loic Laurandel, said the fact that its partners have fast- tracked their activities and are ready to start production (and Total is not) does not suggest that there is nothing blurred going on in the sector.
“We are really on course, taking our time to ensure that both of us (Ugandans and Total) get the best out these oil resources,” he said, adding that there is need to put in place necessary measures to minimise harm that may arise in the future if we rushed.”
Mr Laurandel added that the company is still conducting appraisals on its discoveries, and undertaking three Dimensional seismic surveys (recently suspended) and Extended Well Testing.
Against this, he said, “Total will submit its first Field Development Plan (FDP) in December for the Ngeri oil well, and in the harmony of events to see first production not less than the year 2018.”
The government’s Petroleum Exploration and Production Department (PEPD) acknowledged that the process of appraisal involves drilling wells on the discoveries, which forms the basis for the preparation of FDPs and the Petroleum Reservoir (PR) report, which all take one year, respectively.
The oil company largely operates in the Murchison National park.
Mr Laurandel said they “have to avoid all shortcuts as precautionary means in this sensitive area.”
Other oil firms
State-owned Chinese National Offshore Oil Company (CNOOC), the major operator of the $2 billion Kingfisher with an estimated 196 recoverable oil barrels, was recently granted a production licence, and is yet to start after finishing the Front End Engineering Design for the well.
PEPD also noted that UK’s Tullow Oil PLC, which has previously suffered the crippling effects of government’s red tape, also submitted its FDP plan still pending approval.
The law requires that an application for a production licence is supported by approved FDP and PR reports.
Mr Laurandel also hinted that they could submit at least four FDPs in 2014.