Ugandaâ€™s crude oil produced during tests on the various oil wells in the country has already hit 36,000 barrels, or about 6 million litres. Kabagambe Kaliisa, the permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Energy, says the crude oil was generated during extended well testing operations, which determine the behaviour of the crude oil, the underground pressure and the flow of the oil so as to help plan and design a model to extract the resource appropriately.
Formal oil production is expected to start in the next three years.
Government says it is currently keeping the crude oil in containers as it plans on its usage. The oil could fill up to about 300,000 twenty-litre jerricans.
Kabagambe Kaliisa, the permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Energy, says the crude oil was generated during extended well testing operations, which determine the behaviour of the crude oil, the underground pressure and the flow of the oil so as to help plan and design a model to extract the resource appropriately. He said the geologists in Uganda were cautious not to err considering that none has had prior experience on actual oil production, an activity that is new in the entire East African region.
He explained that the exercise has been done on 16 oil wells generating the 36,000 barrels, which he said are being stored at various sites as government determines its usage.
There has been widespread speculation especially among the communities where oil exploration activities are underway that government together with the respective oil companies were already producing the resource and quietly transporting it away for sale.
Kaliisa dismissed the rumour saying the only crude oil extracted from the wells was during extended well testing operations and which he said was being stored at various sites awaiting decision on how it could be used.
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Fred Kabanda, a Principal Geologist and Head of Regulatory Unit at the Petroleum Exploration and Production Department, said the crude oil could be used to produce power a head of the actual oil production. He said government plans to use dual engines that could use both gas and crude oil to generate power.
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Uganda announced commercial discovery of oil in 2006 after years of exploration activities. The government has since maintained that it would only begin production after setting up a local refinery, which is planned for 2016. Currently, government says there is a proven oil reserve of 3.5 billion barrels with a recoverable amount of about 1.2 billion barrels.