Total resumes seismic surveys in Nwoya
Posted Tuesday, October 22 2013 at 12:32
Total Exploration & Production has resumed 3D seismic surveys in Nwoya District, a month after suspending the activities because of two unexploded ammunitions found at operational sites in the district.
The 3D seismic survey ensures the co-existence of oil activities and wildlife and environmental conservation during exploration activities.
On September 16 the survey team discovered unexploded ordinances on sites in Nwoya District. The ammunitions were destroyed by UPDF on September 18. However, another cache was found the following day.
After the second discovery, Total E&P Uganda decided to suspend its 3D seismic activities on September 20 to avoid putting its personnel and Uganda Wildlife Authority rangers at risk.
The suspension was to also give UPDF and the de-mining team enough time to assess the risk and take appropriate measures.
Isaac Oware, UPDF’s 4th Division spokesperson says risk assessments in all operational areas are being conducted by the army. However, Mr Oware says not all unexploded ordinances have been cleared but that parts of northern Uganda have been declared safe.
On October 10 Total E&P extended its survey to the South of River Nile zone which was declared safe. The unexploded ammunitions, meanwhile, were discovered at operational sites in the north of the Nile.
UPDF on Monday declared that 80 per cent of the northern area of Block 1, where Total was operating, is now safe, leading to a partial lifting of the suspension.
Total’s Public Relations Officer, David Rupiny told Uganda Radio Network that only a limited zone of the northern part needs to be cleared, with ongoing risk assessment in the area. He said the survey, with the expatriates who had stopped field work recalled.
The unexploded ammunitions in the region are a remnant of the 20-year insurgency by the Lord’s Resistance Army. To date, UPDF says it has destroyed over 4,000 unexploded ordinances in the region.