The journey to Uganda’s first drop of oil in 2025 is in full force after China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC) Uganda completed installing drilling conductor pipes.
Drilling conductor pipes where rigs and pumps will be planted before the actual drilling starts were installed on well pad three by Excel Construction which was awarded an engineering, procurement and construction contract.
Aminah Bukenya, the communications officer of CNOOC Uganda, noted that the shipments of the oil drilling rig have started arriving at Kingfisher oil development field and will soon be planted to the conductor pipes.
Zakaliya Lubega, the corporate affairs manager of CNOOC Uganda, says the rig is going to be used to drill three well pads in shifts.
Other ongoing works include site preparation for the development of a central processing facility with a peak processing capacity of 40,000 barrels of oil per day and 19 kilometre of flow lines that will connect the oil fields to the central processing facility.
CNOOC currently employs 2,716 Ugandans, accounting for 78 percent of its workforce. 280 are directly employed by the company while 581 are employed in engineering and construction activities at different levels.
However, they are facing the challenge of most local employees abandoning work after two or three weeks of work.
Meanwhile, Lubega says there is a concern for the government to intervene in terms of regulating the physical development plan of Buhuka due to an influx and unplanned Settlements.
Once oil production kicks off, the 40,000 barrels of oil will be transported through a feeder pipeline spanning 46 kilometres to the main East African Crude Oil Pipeline.
The estimated investment cost of the Kingfisher project is between 2 and 3 billion US dollars.