Uganda Lifts Ban on Oil, Gas Exploration Licensing

The Ugandan government has lifted a ban on licensing new companies to explore for oil and gas after the approval of the national gas and oil policy which will guide the exploration and exploitation activities in the sector, a government official said Friday.

Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Energy and Minerals Kalisa Kabagambe said the government will start licensing companies through a competitive bidding process from this month.

In September last year, the ministry of energy and minerals announced that it had suspended issuing exploration licenses in the sector until the policy was in place. Kabagambe said the policy would guide the administration, regulation as well as management and it also presents a basis for regulating and investing in the oil and gas sector.

In 2006, Uganda announced that it had discovered commercial oil and gas deposits in its Lake Albert valley on the border with Congo. Previous licences were granted on a first come first served basis.

Copyright (c) 2008 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.

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