Uganda Issues 2 exploration licenses over Ngassa block to Oranto Petroleum Limited

The ministry of energy and mineral development in Uganda has issued Issues 2 oil & gas exploration licenses over Ngassa block in Hoima district to Oranto Petroleum Limited in a signing ceremony presided over by the minister Irene Muloni.

The issuance earlier set for June was called off after the Uganda government said it needed more due diligence on the Nigerian explorer before signing off the licenses.

“We are excited to enter this agreement with the Government of Uganda and look forward to a successful exploration period,” said Prince Arthur Eze, Chairman of Oranto Petroleum. “Lake Albert is home to some prime petroleum acreage and we hope to make a valuable contribution to the country and its people.”

The Ngassa Play comprises 410 square kilometers of shallow and deepwater acreage in Lake Albert, contiguous to major coastal petroleum discoveries. The PSA comprises a first exploration period of two years followed by a second exploration period for a maximum of two years for both licenses. Each first exploration period carries a minimum work program which includes undertaking 2D and 3D seismic shooting and reprocessing and amplitude versus offset (AVO) studies. Following the first exploration period, Oranto has the option to renew the agreement and commence a second exploration period consisting of additional seismic data acquisition, the drilling of one exploration well and the drilling of one appraisal well contingent upon the success of the first well.

Oranto joins Australia’s Armour energy as companies who have benefited from the 1st licensing round after the latter was given an exploration license for the Kanywataba block.

According to Oranto the company envisages a bespoke barge mounted rig on lake Albert during the PSC exploration term of four years.

The issuance of the exploration licenses over Ngassa block to Oranto Petroleum Limited according to the ministry marks successful end of 1st licensing round with fresh licensing being considered for three blocks which were not taken up including: Ngajj block, Karuka and Taitai.

Among companies which were unsuccessful in securing blocks in this round despite being invited for PSA negotiations include: WalterSmithPetroman Oil Limited of Nigeria, for the Shallow and Deep Plays in the Turaco area and Niger Delta Petroleum Resources Ltd of Nigeria for the Shallow and Deep Plays in the Ngassa area.