Uganda’s petroleum resources increase to 6.5 billion barrels oil in place
KAMPALA – 28th August 2014: Uganda's Petroleum resources are now estimated to be 6.5billion barrels of oil initially in place. This is up from 3.5billion barrels that was estimated in August 2012.
500 billion cubic feet of non-associated gas (independent gas) is also now estimated to have been discovered in Uganda to date. This translates to about 90 million barrels of oil equivalent.This gas can be processed and utilized in several ways including generation of electricity;production of LiquefiedPetroleum Gas which is used for cooking or welding, supporting production of iron and steel and production of fertilizers.
The increase in the estimated petroleum resources is as a result of the evaluation of the data and information acquired by the Oil Companies licensed in the country during the ongoing appraisal of thediscoveries in the Albertine Graben.
Of this estimated 6.5billion barrels of oil in place, 1.4billion barrels of oil are estimated to be recoverable. Previously, recoverable oil was estimated at 1.2billion barrelsof oil equivalent from 3.5billion barrels of oil equivalent initially in place. The reduction in the ratio between the oil in place and recoverable oil is mainly due to an improved understanding of the nature of the petroleum reservoirs in Uganda through the appraisal work undertaken on each of the discoveries.
Additional gas is also expected to be produced as associated Gas (gas dissolved within the oil) when production of oil commences. So far the estimates of associated gas based on the Oil Gas Ratios for the different fields in the Albertine Graben is 173 Billion Cubic Feet of Gas. This volume is very dependent on how the production of oil in the different fields will be carried out.
TheMinistry of Energy and Mineral Development together with the oil companies are continuing to evaluate proposalsfor Enhanced Oil Recovery (EOR).World over, the average recovery rate of oil is in the range of 30%. However, some oil fields in countries like Norway and the USA have been able to achieve recoverability of up to 60%.
Recoverability of oil depends on several factorswhich include;reservoir quality, oil properties (including viscosity) and the technology usedin production of the oil. Reservoir quality mainly depends on the type of rock, its consolidation, porosity and permeability.
The oil companies licensed in the country are working with Government in carrying out studies to determine the most suitable Enhanced Oil Recovery methodapplicable to the discoveries in the Albertine Graben.
Improved technology such as the use of gas injection, steam flooding and injection, polymer flooding and microbial injection have the potential to increase the recovery factor.
It is also important to note that the method(s) usedfor Enhanced Oil Recovery need to be closely evaluated as they have an impact on the cost of oil production. Enhancement methods need to take into consideration the actual cost of oil on the world market so as to maintain the economic aspects of producing the oil.
Uganda has so far made a total of 21 oil and gas discoveries. Exploration work has only been undertaken in less than 40% of the Albertine Graben which is the most prospective sedimentary basin in the country.
Appraisal work on the final four of the twenty one discoveriesis still ongoing and is expected to be completed before the end of 2014.
F.A. KABAGAMBE KALIISA
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