Oil Licensing Round 2013
Uganda is planning to hold its first public oil exploration licensing round in mid-2013, according to Platts consultancy. The granting of new licences, along with the setting up of institutions created by the petroleum bill, which passed the Ugandan parliament in late 2012, will be a test of the new law. The auction round had been planned for 2011, then 2012, but was delayed due to protracted debate on the petroleum bill throughout the year.
Potential licensing areas and licensees
Uganda has six unlicensed oil blocks and at least 10,000 square kilometers of available exploration land in the Lake Albertine Rift basin. But Fred Kabagambe-Kaliisa, permanent secretary at Uganda's Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development, told Platts in late 2012 that it was unclear how many blocks would be offered in the upcoming licensing round. He did say that "In the past we licensed explorers on the basis of first-come, first-serve. When we resume later this year, it will be bidding and companies will have to compete," the Netherlands-African Business Council reported in February 2011.
Platts reported that the Ugandan government is looking to attract participation in the licensing round specifically and in Uganda's oil and gas sector more generally, including in exploration and production, refining investment, engineering, and procurement and construction for pipeline networks for exports and domestic demand.
An executive of French oil firm Total S.A. said the company would bid for more exploration blocks in Uganda when the country conducts a new licensing round. A Ugandan delegation went to Tokyo in November 2012 to look to attract Japanese companies to take part in both upstream and downstream sectors in Uganda.
Possible contractual terms
According to the Habari Network the Ugandan government has been pushing for tougher contractual terms with oil companies. Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni has also hinted that government policy will not look favorably at licensing companies from countries deemed "hostile to Uganda," Habari Network reported.
- "INTERVIEW: Uganda plans bid round for mid-2013, eyes refinery investors", Platts, 14 November 2012.
- "Fresh round of licensing ahead for Uganda’s oil sector", The East African, 29 December 2012.
- "Uganda to open oil exploration licensing: official", Reuters, 2 February 2011.
- "Uganda's Oil Rights Auction Likely Delayed To 2013", Rigzone, 12 October 2012.
- "Uganda to open new petroleum licensing round", Netherlands-African Business Council, 3 February 2011.
- "Total to bid for more Uganda exploration blocks", Reuters, 29 September 2012.
- "Uganda and Kenya to introduce new round of licensing for oil & gas exploration", The Habari Network, 2 January 2013.