Chinese Sloppiness Fingered for Fatality as Uganda Halts Operations at an Oil Field - Africa’s premier report on the oil, gas and energy landscape.

Chinese Sloppiness Fingered for Fatality as Uganda Halts Operations at an Oil Field

The Petroleum Authority Uganda (PAU) has ordered immediate halt to all operations at the Kingfisher oilfield development in the country, citing safety concerns in which the Authority emphasized it underscores the importance of ensuring the safety of oilfield workers and minimizing risks in the oil and gas sector.

The order follows a fatal accident in the area that occurred on October 6, 2023, which resulted in the death of one of the sub-contractor’s staff members.

A motor accident claimed the life of a security guard at the gate of one of the camps of the CNOOC Uganda Ltd (CUL), in Buhuka, Kyangwali sub county in Kikube District.

PAU’s executive director, Ernest Rubondo, stated that the accident was deemed unacceptable, especially considering previous incidents that the agency had brought to the attention of (CUL), the operator of the field.

Kingfisher project

In accordance with Section 177 of the Petroleum (Exploration, Development and Production) Act, 2013, the PAU directed CUL to halt all Kingfisher field development operations from 00.00 hours on Saturday, October 7, 2023, until further notice.

The PAU  also convened a meeting of top executives from joint venture partners, which include CNOOC, TotalEnergies, and Uganda National Oil Company, to review the situation and provide guidance regarding the ongoing oilfield developments.

The Kingfisher project operated by CNOOC, is one of Uganda’s oilfields undergoing intensified drilling works with the aim of being ready for oil production by 2025. The project includes the development of a central processing facility (CPF), 31 wells (including 20 producers and 11 injectors), over four well pads and 19kilometres of flowlines adjoining the CPF. The first well was spudded in January 2023.

The field development also includes the development of a lake water abstraction station and other infrastructure such as temporary and permanent camps, a materials yard and access roads.

The production from the field is expected to be 40,000 barrels per day, which will start to decline after five years.

TOTALEnergies-operated Tilenga project is projected to produce 190,000 barrels per day at peak production.

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