By Nicholas Bariyo
KAMPALA, Uganda--French oil company TotalEnergies SE hopes to commence oil production at its Tilenga oil fields in Uganda in the next three and half years after awarding the main construction contract for the oil project, Total's Ugandan unit said Monday.
A consortium of a McDermott International Ltd. subsidiary and state-controlled China Petroleum & Chemical Corp., known as Sinopec, will undertake the $2 billion contract to develop the 190,000 barrels-a-day oil project, which includes construction of five drilling packages within the oil-rich Lake Albertine rift basin along Uganda's western border with the Democratic Republic of Congo.
It is another step forward for the long-delayed development of Uganda's oil fields, weeks after Total signed a $3.5 billion deal for the project's export pipeline.
"The Tilenga project development phase has a target to achieve first oil in 43 months," Pierre Jessua, general manager of Total's unit in Uganda, said. "The launch of these contracts underscores our commitment to developing the Tilenga project while maximizing value and viability of the project," he said.
Some $10 billion is required to develop the oil fields and a 900-mile pipeline, Total said.
Total holds a majority stake in the project, which is being jointly developed with CNOOC Ltd. Exploration companies have discovered as much as 6.5 billion barrels of crude in Uganda and oil production could peak at around 230,000 barrels-a-day when commercialization starts.
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(END) Dow Jones Newswires