Uganda’s CNOOC can resume work at Kingfisher oil project, regulator says

KAMPALA (Reuters) – Work at Uganda’s Kingfisher oil project area can resume after its operator made required safety improvements, the petroleum regulator said on Friday, a week after operations were suspended following a death at the site.

CNOOC Uganda , a unit of CNOOC, operates Kingfisher, one of the country’s two commercial oil development projects.

The Petroleum Authority of Uganda (PAU) said it was satisfied by steps CNOOC Uganda had put in place during the suspension period.

“This step has been taken after rigorous examination of all standard procedures to ensure that the health and safety requirements are being robustly implemented by all contractors and sub-contractors,” Ernest Rubondo, PAU’s executive director, said in a statement.

Drilling of oil wells for commercial production at the field started in January, as Uganda works toward producing its first oil output in 2025 after a long delay.

Its other oilfield, Tilenga, is operated by France’s TotalEnergies.

At peak output, Uganda plans to produce about 230,000 barrels of crude oil per day.

Uganda discovered crude oil reserves in the Albertine rift basin near the border with Democratic Republic of Congo in 2006.

Government geologists estimate its confirmed reserves at 6.5 billion barrels of oil, of which 2.2 billion are recoverable.

(Reporting by Elias Biryabarema; Writing by George Obulutsa; Editing by Bill Berkrot)