New Drilling Could Put Uganda in Top 50 Producers

KAMPALA, Uganda (Dow Jones Newswires), Feb. 20, 2009

An oil exploration firm in Uganda, Tullow Oil said Friday the wells it is planning to drill this year could put the country among the world's top 50 producers.

However, Kampala should concentrate on further exploration rather than begin large-scale production, said Brian Glover manager in Uganda of the U.K.-headquartered Tullow.

Since 2006 when Uganda first discovered oil, some 600 million barrels of oil reserves have been found around Lake Albert that straddles the Uganda-Congo border.

"The wells we are going to drill this year could discover another billion barrels. So Uganda could be a country with between a billion and a billion and a half of total reserves," Glover told AFP.

"That would put Uganda into the top 50 oil producers in the world," he added.

Commercial petroleum extraction is expected to start this year.

Canadian oil prospecting firm Heritage Oil Ltd. said in September it had found the country's largest oil deposit in the Albert Basin.

Energy-hungry Uganda has discovered huge deposits of oil in its western region near the border with Congo.

Oil experts estimate that there may be up to 2 billion barrels of oil reserves, most of it under Lake Albert.  

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