London, UK | – Uganda short-listed 17 companies including units of Tullow Oil Plc, Sasol Ltd. and PTT Pcl that want to bid for exploration licenses in the Albertine Graben, where an estimated 6.5 billion barrels of oil resources have been found.
The list was selected from 19 companies that sought to qualify for the country’s first competitive licensing round, according to a statement e-mailed by the ministry Wednesday from the capital, Kampala. The East African nation will announce the list of companies that qualify by Aug. 10 and expects to issue a request for bids from applicants on Aug. 20.
“The six blocks on offer presents great opportunity to discover additional resources that will enhance the country’s sustainability of oil and gas production and commercialization,” the ministry said.
Uganda expects to begin producing crude in 2018, 12 years after it was first discovered in the country. London-based Tullow has drilled at least 79 wells in the nation and is developing its prospects in partnership with China National Offshore Oil Corp. and France’s Total SA.
Other companies shortlisted include Oil & Natural Gas Corp. of India, Petoil Ltd. of Turkey, Oranto Petroleum International Ltd. of Nigeria and Swala Energy Ltd. of Australia.