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Cnooc to start oil test drills next week

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Part of the new oil rig that has been installed at the

Part of the new oil rig that has been installed at the shores of Lake Albert by Cnooc. Photo by Martin Ssebuyira. 

By  Martin Ssebuyira & Francis Mugerwa

Posted  Tuesday, August 26  2014 at  01:00

In Summary

Cnooc expects to drill about 40,000 barrels of oil per day but will start with test drills as early as next week.

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Hoima- Oil company, China National Offshore Oil Corporation (Cnooc) is in the final stages of installing its rig at King Fisher oil reserve.

The move is expected to enable the company start drilling oil as early as next week [August 31].

According to Mr Andrew Otuba, the Cnooc environment supervisor, the company has already invented special technology to drill oil horizontally into the lake and vertically about 2,000 metres below the lake.

“We expect to drill about 40,000 barrels a day but we could start by conducting drill tests as we await the refinery to be set up,” Mr Otuba told National Environment Management Authority (Nema) board members and inspectors last Thursday.

Nema officials had visited areas surrounding Lake Albert to conduct an environment risk assessment impact of oil drilling in the area.

He said they had already dug several waste pits that will be used as disposals areas during test drilling and actual production.

The new development comes months after Cnooc obtained a licence four years before production commences to prepare for the production phase.

Nema executive director Tom Davis Okrut said they were impressed by the works, especially those related to waste disposal.

THE LICENCE

Kingfisher licence. Cnooc was given the first production licence for the Kingfisher oil field in September after a satisfactory review of the company’s field development plan.

Yet to get licence. Total and Tullow are yet to get production licences but Tullow submitted its field development plan early this year although it is yet to get a response from government. Total says it will submit its field development plans before the end of the year.

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