Status of Exploration and Appraisal in the Albertine Graben of Uganda
Extensive exploration for hydrocarbons during the last decade has established that Uganda’s rift basins contain commercially exploitable reserves of oil and gas and the country is planning to commence production of petroleum in the short term.
The principal prospective area for petroleum in Uganda is the Albertine Graben. It forms the northernmost part of the western arm of the East African Rift System, stretching from the border with Sudan in the north to Lake Edward in the south, a distance of over 500km. Uganda shares the Graben with the Democratic Republic of Congo. The part of the Graben that lies in Uganda covers an area of 23,918km2. In this regard, an agreement of co-operation for exploration and exploitation of any common fields between the two countries was entered into in 1990 and updated at the beginning of 2008.
To-date, One hundred and Sixteen (116) deep wells have been drilled in the Graben and One hundred and two (102) of these wells have encountered hydrocarbons in the subsurface. Flow testing of some of the wells with multiple horizons have registered cumulative flow rates in excess of 10,000 bopd. Some of the appraised discoveries confirmed the substantial potential for commercially exploitable hydrocarbon accumulation in the Graben. Extended well testing of some of the wells have been conducted to better understand the dynamic behavior of the reservoirs. Crude oil produced during these tests will be utilized for power generation and for local industrial heating requirement.
Below are some key statistics;
• 116 Exploration and Appraisal Wells drilled to date
o 36 Exploration Wells
o 80 Appraisal Wells
o 112 wells have encountered oil and/or gas
o 21 oil and/or gas discoveries have been made to-date; 17 discoveries have been appraised and four discoveries reverted to Government
• Discovered resources currently estimated at an equivalent over 6.5 billion barrels of petroleum in place.
o Crude blend between 230 – 330 API with very low sulphur of 0.16wt/%. Paraffinic and waxy
o Excellent reservoir qualities with 20-30% porosities
o Well flow rates in the range of 1,000 – 14,000 bopd indicative of good permeability