Kingfisher License Area

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China's CNOOC operates the Kingfisher license area, which lies in the former Exploration Area 3A,[1] with a 33.3% share. Tullow Oil and Total S.A. also hold a 33.3% share each. The field holds an estimated 300 million barrels of oil, making it Uganda's largest oil field.[2]

Heritage Oil gained a license to the Kingfisher field in 1997 and was operator with a 50% share alongside Tullow Oil, which owned the other half of the contract area.[3] Tullow acquired full ownership of the license area in January 2010,[4] but the government didn't endorse the sale because Heritage declined to pay a 30% capital gains tax on the transaction.[5]

The government repossessed the Kingfisher field in August 2010 because Tullow and former partner Heritage failed to apply for a production license in time.[5] Tullow regained the Kingfisher license on 3 February 2012[6] and completed a farm-down to CNOOC, the new operator, and Total later that month.[7]


  1. "$2.9bn Farm-down of Uganda licences completed", Tullow website, 21 February 2012.
  2. "Tullow signs new PSAs, nears $2.9 bn farmdown", The Observer, 5 February 2012.
  3. "Ugandaʼs contracts – a bad deal made worse", PLATFORM, retrieved 8 January 2012.
  4. "Disposal of the interests in Blocks 1 and 3A", Heritage website, retrieved 8 January 2012.
  5. 5.0 5.1 "Uganda to Repossess Rest of Oil Block 3A from Tullow", Rigzone, 8 September 2010.
  6. "Tullow Oil $2.9bn deal okayed despite parliamentary probe", The Independent, 3 February 2012.
  7. "$2.9bn Farm-down of Uganda licences completed", Tullow website, 21 February 2012.