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Oil Drill Projects Are Environmentally Compliant-PAU :: Uganda Radionetwork
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Oil Drill Projects Are Environmentally Compliant-PAU

Alex Nyombi, the Director of Development and Production at the Petroleum Authority of Uganda said both rigs have noise-suppressing technology and are fully automated and environmentally friendly.
27 Jul 2023 13:57
The SINOPEC 1501 Drilling Rig. PAU says the rigs were designed and fitted with noise surpressing technology
The ongoing drilling of oil and gas wells in the Albertine is going on under strict adherence to environmental concerns, according to the Petroleum Authority of Uganda (PAU). Earnest Rubondo, the PAU Executive Director, who has just returned from an inspection visit of the drilling operations under the Tilenga and King Fisher disclosed this in a statement.

“The drilling of production wells is proceeding as planned towards the first Oil in 2025. The oil and gas activities especially the development of infrastructure worth over US$ 15 billion in the country before commencement of production, together with the expected annual revenues in excess of US$ 1 billion are beginning to significantly impact the country’s economy. Oil production in the country is expected to peak at 230,000 barrels of oil per day” said Rubondo whose Authority is charged with regulation and monitoring the petroleum sector.                   

Giving an update about drilling at the King Fisher Project operated by CNOOC Uganda, PAU said that drilling of the first well was completed to a total depth of about 3000 meters. The rig on site had reportedly embarked on the second well. Drilling at King Fisher was launched by President Museveni toward the end of January this year. It had been anticipated that the President would return to the Albertine this month to turn on the switch for the Tilenga project drilling to commence. But the drilling already commenced as earlier reported by URN.

According to the statement, under the Tilenga project, the initial phase will see the drilling of 12 development wells on the Jobi-5 well pad, which is part of the Tilenga oil fields. Tielnga operated by TotalEnergies in the districts of Buliisa and Nwoya plans to have over 450 wells drilled on 35 well pads. Uganda hopes to produce about 230,000 barrels of oil per day at its peak from the multiple fields, which include Kingfisher, Jobi Rii, Ngiri, Kasamene-Wahrindi, Gunya, Nsoga, and Kigogole.    

     

One of the drillings under the Tilenga projects is in the middle of the Murchison Fall National Park. Environmentalists have over the years that noise from drilling operations would disturb the animals in the park. Alex Nyombi, the Director of Development and Production at the Petroleum Authority of Uganda said both rigs have noise-suppressing technology and are fully automated and environmentally friendly.            

“Three rigs have been designated for the drilling operations on the Tilenga project. Presently, SINOPEC 1501 is operational at the Jobi-5 well pad and commenced drilling operations on 28th June 2023.  The second rig is undergoing final tests at the Ngiri 3 well pad before commencing drilling, while the third rig is being assembled and is expected to commence operations in October 2023. For the Kingfisher Project the LR8001 rig has been operational since January 2023,” said Nyombi.                

He said Uganda's commitment to sustainable and responsible resource extraction is shown in the design of the drilling rigs. “Employing innovative technologies and eco-conscious practices, the rigs are designed to minimize the environmental footprint, ensuring a positive impact on the ecosystem, and setting a precedent for future generations” reads part of the statement

The PAU said proactive measures in scheduling the drilling operations will ensure at least 70 wells are in place by 2025, facilitating the projected commencement of commercial production. It is anticipated the development of oil and gas will provide a boost to investment in other sectors of the economy, bringing a potentially transformative impact for many Ugandans and the country at large in the next 25 years. “As a result of the government’s initiatives, it is calculated there will be in total an $8billion boost to local businesses during the four-year construction period."