(Ecofin Agency) - The Ugandan government is considering a new licencing round for three oil blocks in the Albertine Graben that were not taken during the first licencing round.The three blocks includes the Taitai & Karuka oil block, Mvule oil block in Moyo/Yumbe and the Ngaji block between Rukungiri and Kanungu that was disregarded due to its eco-sensitivity.
According to the Ministry of Energy’s spokesperson, Ibrahim Kasita, the Mvule block, received only one bid from Glint Energy Limited, but the bid was not assessed since the company did not meet the necessary requirements.US-based Glint Energy was amongst the seven oil companies out of the 17 certified firms that submitted bids for the six prospective oil blocks.
“The company did not acquire the existing data to undertake technical assessment of the block. Therefore, it did not proceed to the negotiation stage,” Kasita said.
For the Karuka-Taitai block, only one bid was received and it was submitted by Swala Energy but no firm bided for the Ngaji block, which encompasses half of Lake Edward and a part of Queen Elizabeth National Park, and also forms part of the same ecosystem as Virunga - Africa's oldest national park and a Unesco World Heritage site.
Out of six blocks, only three blocks, the Kanywantaba block, Turaco and Ngassa were takrn up by four firms, Armour Energy Limited, WalterSmithPetroman Oil Limited, Oranto Petroleum and the Niger Delta Petroleum Resources, respectively.
The former director of the Petroleum Directorate, Ernest Rubondo (photo, left), in August said they would finalize the signing of the Production Sharing Agreements (PSAs) with the four companies before the end of the month but the timeline was extended to before 2016 ending, The Monitor reports.