The Moroto-Kadam basin of Karamoja sub-region has potentially rich oil deposits according to evidence of hydrocarbon accumulation, the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development is optimistic as it launches oil and gas explorations there.
The earlier surveys by the Government and colonialists indicated that there was evidence of oil and gas in parts of eastern and northeastern Uganda.
The surveys will be conducted in the districts of Nakapiripirit District, Napak, Kween, Kumi, Bulambuli, Bukedea and Moroto to asses their oil and gas potential for detailed information after the most recent geological and geophysical surveys in in 2014.
“We have started with sensitization activities in preparation for the exploration,” energy state minister Peter Lokaris said during the launch in Nakapiripirit District. He warned the residents and their leaders to be mindful of speculators who will now want to dupe people in Karamoja to buy their land.
The Ministry of Energy, says the community sensitisation meetings follow findings from aerial magnetic surveys conducted across the country in 1992. Government notes that surveys were conducted in the regions that include the Albertine graben, Lake Kyoga basin and Moroto- Kadam basin.
The exploration will also cover Sebei, Bugisu and Bukedea areas, the ministry said.
The first thing to be done is the establishment of segment soils of not less than 2km underground, explained Joshua Lukaye, the principle geochemist in the department of petroleum the energy ministry. “We are on a fact finding mission and will later give a report to the concerned authorities,” Lukaye said.
In Bulambuli, the sub counties to be survey are Bwikohionge, Bukhalu, Buyaga and Bunambuye.
A specific production date for 1.2 billion (recoverable) oil barrels is still elusive but the government has tagged 2017 to it, after construction of an oil refinery in Hoima District and erecting of an oil pipeline.
Several countries have urged the Ugandan government to wisely prioritise its areas of investments if oil revenues, valued at an annual $2 billion (about Shs5.1 trillion), are to make impact on the economy.