Tilenga project operations intensify

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Tilenga project operations intensify
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The Tilenga Project activities have intensified with the 2025 first oil deadline fast approaching.

The name-Tilenga-is derived from the local names for kobs. In West Nile, it is called Til while in Bunyoro, it is called Engabi. The two were merged to create Tilenga.

Work on the project in Buliisa and Nwoya districts is in the advanced stages, according to Petroleum Authority of Uganda (PAU) Corporate Affairs Manager, Gloria Sebikari.

Operated by TotalEnergies E&P Uganda (56.67%) on behalf of the joint venture partners namely China National Offshore Oil Company (28.33%), and Uganda National Oil Company (UNOC) with 15%, it is one of the key projects in Uganda’s oil and gas sub-sector.

UNOC’'s role

Although UNOC is a non-operator in the Tilenga, it participates in the joint venture activities including planning meetings, reviewing, and approving, proposed work programmes and budgets as well as reviewing bidder lists and recommending contract awards. This ensures value retention for Uganda as per the National Content regulations.

Key facts

On of the largest oil projects in the Albertine Graben, boasting of over 400 oil wells, Tilenga is a beehive of activity as specially designed rigs are set up atop the wells across oilfields in Nwoya and Buliisa districts.

The project consists of nine onshore oilfields; one field in the Murchison Falls National Park, North of River Nile, and eight (8) fields in the South of the Nile.

According to the Petroleum Authority of Uganda (PAU), the nine oil fields under the Tilenga project have a combined 5.8 billion barrels of oil, with recoverable resources estimated at 874 barrels.

The development of Tilenga project includes onshore drilling of 426 wells from 31 well pads, with three drilling rigs. It will produce 190,000 barrels per day at peak. Following production, the crude oil will be “cleaned” at a central processing facility (CPF).

Located in Kasinyi, Ngwedo sub-county, Buliisa the CPF consists of a series of tanks and piping systems through which the produced oil and the associated gas will be processed to remove unwanted mixtures and impurities such as water and sand.

Other project infrastructure includes over 170-km of buried flowlines, a 96-km feeder pipeline, a Lake Water Abstraction System, and other infrastructure such as the Victoria Nile Crossing, Bugungu airstrip, support bases, camps, and access roads.

According to the PAU, as of 30th June 2023,  several project activities were progressing well in preparation for production of First Oil in 2025.

Key activities in here include; enabling infrastructure works, engineering, procurement, supply, construction and commissioning, rig assembly and mobilisation in preparation for drilling among others.

Construction of a support base is on and the Tangi Construction Support Base that will logistically support the construction of facilities North of River Nile.

Pearl Engineering Company Ltd, a Ugandan Company, carried out site preparation works for the Tangi Construction Support Base.

SINOPEC, a contractor hired Petrolink Engineering Company to construct offices, a fuel station, a warehouse, and a materials supply base, among others. SINOPEC is also working on welding, pipe coating, surface preparation, and treatment of flowline pipe surfaces.

Drilling activities

Drilling which precedes production, has since intensified in Tilenga. The rigs were customized for the projects to reach oil reservoirs, suppress noise, and “walk” on the well-pads, which facilitate drilling.

The drilling of 426 wells on the 31 well pads implies that each well pad will have about fourteen 14 wells with a purpose of minimising the surface footprint in the project area.

TotalEnergies contracted Mota-Engil Uganda Limited to carry out enabling infrastructure works on the well pads.

The contractor commenced construction works and progressed with site preparation. PAU says that by the end of 2023, three drilling rigs were operational in Tilenga with one rig in the North of the Nile and two drilling rigs in the South of the Nile outside the National Park.

As of June 30, 2023, the activities at the different well pads including Jobi- Rii 05, Ngiri 03, Jobi-Rii 04, Gunya 01, Jobi-Rii 02, Jobi-Rii 03 were progressing according to the timelines.

Tilenga industrial park enabling infrastructure works

This spans over 786 acres of land, and will host the 190,00 barrels per day Central Processing Facility (CPF) together with other facilities such as the Drilling Support Base the Construction Camp, Operator’s Camp, and the Operations Support Base.

The industrial area site preparation works progressed to 89% compared to the planned progress of 90.5% as of 30th June 2023.  The lag was attributed to soft soil conditions that required more effort to achieve required strength, and the rain that affected productivity.

TotalEnergies handed over 70% of the Industrial Area to the Schlumberger, China Oil Services Limited (COSL), ZPEB and Vallourec, the Drilling and Wells Contractors, McDermott, and the EPSCC contractor.

Land acquisition and compensation

The Tilenga project land requirement is approximately 1,183 hectares with five 5,527 Poject Affected Persons. The acquisition of this land was subdivided into 6 Resettlement Action Plans.

TotalEnergies expeditiously handles activities in associated with compensation and resettlement of Project Affected Persons like the disclosure and signing of compensation agreements, as well construction of resettlement houses for physically displaced persons.




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