Uganda’s oil sector licensing policy shifts from open door to competitive bidding

While the Uganda oil and gas industry awaits a new licensing regime, the good news trickling in is that the next phase of licensing will shift from the open door policy to competitive bidding.


This follows a freeze that was imposed on the sector a few years ago to enable the country enact the appropriate sector legislation and set up the relevant institutions in the industry


“It is not possible to know when the next round of licensing will be, but we would like to have competitive licensing, and we need to prepare for this,” said a ministry official. This denotes that the process of bidding is under review, and how quickly the appropriate institutions are put in place will determine the next round of licensing.


It is in a similar vein that the Uganda Chamber of Mines and Petroleum organized a conference on oil and gas licensing and production. The conference organized under the theme “Oil and Gas: The Licensing, Contracting and Production Sharing Dynamics” ran from June 20 to June 21 at Kampala Serena Hotel


A statement from the chamber stressed the significance of understanding the licensing, legal and regulatory framework for firms to successfully operate any oil company or advisory firm in an oil province.


The conference highlighted the global overview of the oil and gas industry, key issues in the international oil and gas industry, legal ownership and exploitation of oil and gas resources as well as Uganda’s legal and regulatory framework and fiscal regime.


It also stressed international contracts and key differences between Production Sharing Agreements, concessions, service contracts and joint ventures, oil and gas licensing, regimes, requirements and rounds, stabilization and Renegotiation Clauses.


The other focus was on dispute resolution mechanisms with an emphasis on arbitration in which Uganda has gained some experience given recent cases between Heritage and Tullow as well as government.


The conference brought together oil companies, legal firm advisors, commercial operators with emphasis on the oil and gas legal regime which was thought to be a key tool for understanding the business, advisory and management of oil and gas operations.

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