Australian Firm Gets Kanywataba Exploration License

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In short
The signing of the Production Sharing Agreement and grant of Petroleum Exploration License will have Armour Energy Limited as a newcomer in Ugandas oils oil and gas sector. It is one of the three companies that made it to the last round of the first competitive licensing process which opened in February 2015.

The government has concluded negotiations with an Australian firm, Armour Energy Limited to operate Kanywataba oil exploration block in Ntoroko district.

The Energy Ministry's Acting Permanent Secretary, Robert Kasande says the license for the Kanywataba contract area is ready. He says the Production Sharing Agreement (PSA) will be signed by Energy Minister Irene Muloni and representatives of Armour Energy Limited this Thursday.

The signing of the Production Sharing Agreement and grant of Petroleum Exploration License will have Armour Energy Limited as a newcomer in Uganda's oils oil and gas sector. It is one of the three companies that made it to the last round of the first competitive licensing process which opened in February 2015.

Others included WalterSmith Petroman Oil Limited for Turaco block, Oranto Petroleum for Ngassa Block. Seventeen local and international Oil exploration companies had expressed interest in the six blocks that were on offer.

Online searches by Uganda Radio Network indicate that Armour Energy Limited only has other operations in Australia. Further online searches indicate that the company, founded in 2009, is based in Brisbane, Australia. It reportedly focuses on the discovery and development of natural gas and associated liquid resources in Australia.

It allegedly has 100 percent interests in the McArthur, South Nicholson, and Georgina Basins covering an area of 33 million acres in the Northern Territory and Queensland; and interests in the onshore Gippsland Basin.

Cabinet granted approvals for the grant of licenses to the three Oil companies last year but sources indicate that the signing of Production Sharing Agreements ( PSA's) and grant of Petroleum Exploration Licenses had to wait for further negotiations and due diligence.

The Ministry of Energy in mid-June said it was to sign the Production Sharing Agreements and grant petroleum exploration license to Nigeria's Oranto with Petroleum Limited. But the signing of the agreements was later called off by the sacked former Permanent Secretary, Dr Stephen Isabalijja without explanation. 

Robert Kasande, then serving as Acting Director at the Directorate of Petroleum said the government was still carrying out more due more due diligence on Oranto Petroleum Limited.

It is not yet clear as to why the signing of the agreement and granting of petroleum exploration license to the Nigerian firm has taken longer.