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Ngassa field reverts to government

A map showing the Ngassa area shaded in green and yellow stripes.

A map showing the Ngassa area in Exploration Area 2.

The Uganda government has reclaimed the Ngassa oil field in Exploration Area 2, Kaiso Tonya, Hoima district, following the expiry of the allowed appraisal time.

According to a statement on the Petroleum Exploration and Production Department (PEPD) website, the discovery, comprising of two wells, Ngassa 1 and 2, whose lead operator has been Tullow Oil, will now be up for grabs in the next licensing round.

“The time provided to complete the appraisal work on this field expired and no further extension for appraisal was given by government. The Ngassa discovery therefore ceased to be part of EA 2 as provided for by the Act,” reads the statement.

“Tullow is currently restoring the Ngassa drill sites as required by both the petroleum and environment legislation,” it added.

According to a Reuters report, Tullow’s Corporate Affairs Manager, Conrad Nkuntu, said the Ngassa discovery had been written off because the appraisal and development were “uneconomic.”

In August 2012, another area-the Kanywataba prospect in Exploration Area 3A, South of Lake Albert, reverted to government under similar circumstances. This area too, which was operated by CNOOC, was restored and remains available for future licensing.

Report by Flavia Nalubega