Uganda: A Tour of the Uganda Oil Project Site

A Tour of the Uganda Oil Project site (Video)

The signing of the Final Investment Decision in February this year kicked off a phase of intensive works at the different oil sites. In this week’s Oil Report, Irene Namajja takes us on a tour of the Tilenga Industrial area, where evacuation, earthworks and other site preparation activities are in high gear as the clock ticks towards the first oil.

Cleared grounds, trucks moving murram and excavation works characterise the initial activities at the Tilenga project development site.


Tilenga sits on over 700 acres of land, stretching over two districts of Buliisa and Nwoya in the Albertine Graben. Here, project works to prepare for oil production are taking place.


The field is owned by joint venture partners TotalEnergies E&P, Uganda National Oil Company, UNOC, and China National Offshore Oil Company, CNOOC, who hold 56.67%, 28.33%, and 15% of it respectively.

Total Energies E&P, which manages the 4.6-billion-dollar project, contracted MotaEngil, a prominent Engineering and Construction firm, to undertake initial preparation works on site. Top among these works are site preparation activities including firming of ground and drainage works.


The end goal is to ready the ground for the establishment of Temporary and Permanent Operation Support Base camps

The ongoing activities include the construction of temporary camp facilities that will accommodate 4000 workers during the development stage, and permanent structures to house over 300 project operators once production begins.

The timeline for preparation of the Tilenga project is about 43 months, and all construction activities are expected to be complete by the time production starts in 2025.

The first development phase will also see the construction of a drilling support base, construction and drilling equipment storage base, and recreation facilities to keep the workers entertained during their stay at the camp.

Such intensive works have the potential to cause significant dust emissions. However, measures have been put in place to limit and manage dust emissions, in line with the project’s dust control plan.

The Tilenga project is being handled by various contractors and subcontractors including Mota-Engil whose works are 60% complete, and McDermott, which is constructing a camp area. Road upgrade works worth USD 15m and Well Pads Site preparation worth USD 170m will also be undertaken as part of development works.

The project will see the development of:

A Central Processing Facility

Drilling of over 426 wells on 31 well-pads

3 Rigs (1 North Nile / 2 South Nile)

Over 160 kilometres of both under-the-Nile-crossing and other land flow lines to transport crude oil and water from the wells to the CPF.

Over 95 km of feeder pipeline to transport processed crude oil from the CPF in Buliisa to the export hub and Refinery in Kabaale in Hoima District.

The Tilenga Project covers three Production Licenses in various oil fields including Jobi-Rii, Gunya, Ngiri, Kasamene-Wahrindi, Kigogole-Ngara, and Nsoga. Production from The Tilenga Oil Field is expected to begin in 2025 and peak at approximately 204,000 BPD of crude oil and condensate in 2028.



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