Cabinet Approves UNOC’s Application for an Exploration License

The year has started on a high note.

Merely 12 days into 2023, the team at Uganda National Oil Company (UNOC) are all smiles following a Government decision regarding Kasuruban, an oil and gas block.

Straddling Hoima, Buliisa and Masindi districts, the 1,285 square kilometer block is one of five made available in the second licensing round. The others are Ngaji, Avivi, Omuka and Turaco all located in the Albertine Graben, Western Uganda.

The Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development (MEMD), responsible for policy and licensing, advertised the blocks in September 2020. Among other reasons, it is meant to ensure additional petroleum resources and reserves.
Following UNOC’s application, and subsequent discussions with MEMD, the Cabinet early this week approved, a decision that has elated UNOC.

“Cabinet also approved the signing of Production Sharing Agreements (PSAs) and grant of exploration licenses for an initial two-year period to Uganda National Oil Company (Kasuruban license),” stated a press release.

The Ministry of ICT and National Guidance issued the press release. According to the document, Australia’s DGR Energy got approval for the Turaco block in Ntoroko.

According to the Chief Legal and Corporate Affairs Officer, Peter Muliisa, MEMD alongside UNOC, will execute the PSA, and subsequently issue an exploration license to UNOC.

“UNOC will embark on the work programs and budgets as stipulated in the application including seeking a joint venture partner as is the industry practice,” Muliisa stated.

“Already, there are several entities that want to work with us, but we will invite bids so as to have an experienced partner,” he told New Vision a local daily after the news broke.

After MEMD invited a “request for qualification”, prompting UNOC’s response, Chief Executive Officer, Proscovia Nabbanja then stated, “Participating in the second lincensing round is well in line with UNOC’s ambitions of eventually attaining the required capacity to become an operator.” 

This comes as the Government, represented by UNOC alongside the joint venture partners, steadily inch towards the first oil expected by March 2025.

Should the impending exploration in the two blocks confirm viable oil and gas resources, the “life-span” of the ongoing projects will increase including investment and their ripple effect i.e., revenue for the Government and the attendant services. END