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The Karamoja region in North Eatern Uganda was first mapped at a scale of 1:250,000 and published in the ‘Geology of Karamoja’ by Williams (1966). Macdonald (1961, 1966), Williams (1966), Elepu et al. (2012) and Baglow et al. (2012) sub-divided the rocks of the Karamoja region into the Karamoja and the Karasuk. The Karamoja Group is made up of a mixed assemblage of granite gneiss, migmatite, biotite gneiss, banded biotite and garnet gneiss, granulite and charnockite, leucocratic granite gneiss, and minor intrusive rocks. The Karasuk Group consists of a mixture of undifferentiated granite gneiss, quartzite with amphibolite bands and marble.

Gold has been exploited in several places in the Karamoja region in shallow alluvial pits and as alluvials in streams in several locations. Production and grades have not been recorded. Artisanal gold workings have been developed on alluvial gold occurrences in many of the streams in the Karamoja area and on less common colluvial gold locations.

Uganda is strongly proceeding with plans to develop its refinery as recommended by the East African Community (EAC) Refineries Strategy in 2008. That Strategy identified the need for a second refinery in the Region to back-up the Mombasa one whose operations have not been consistent.
Later, a feasibility study conducted by UK-based firm Foster Wheeler Energy Limited between 2010-11 established that it was economically viable for Uganda to set up its own refinery.   The study also made recommendations on the size, aspects and commerciality of the refinery.
The Uganda government then took a decision to develop a 60,000 barrel per day refinery to be located at Kabaale in Buseruka Sub-county, Hoima District.  It embarked on what may as well be Uganda’s biggest resettlement process in a bid to secure 29 Sq. Kms of land for the refinery project.  The Project Affected Persons were dully compensated for their land and property in cash, while those who opted for resettlement were built for houses and resettled. 
Government suffered a setback when RT Global Resources, the consortium led by Russia pulled out of negotiations with government as a lead investor for the project, citing several reasons. This forced Government to resume the search of the lead investor. 
Uganda also agreed to export some of the crude oil produced through an export pipeline eventually signing an MoU with the Government of Tanzania in May 2017 dubbed the Inter Governmental Agreement for the East African Crude Oil Pipeline (EACOP) project.
The signing of the agreement followed four months of extensive discussions between the two governments which according to the representatives from the different countries was characterized by push and pull until agreeable decisions were reached.
The 1,445km, 12 inch crude oil pipeline will run carry oil from Hoima to the Tanzanian port of Tanga. The project is expected to cost US$ 3.55 billion and will generate 10,000 jobs during the construction phase.
In early 2017, the three joint venture partners operating in the Albertine Graben launched the Front End Engineering Design (FEED) studies for Nwoya and Buliisa oil fields in a bid to fast track oil production by 2020.
Three international contractors i.e. Technip, Fluor and Chicago Bridge and Iron Company (CB&I) were awarded the contract to undertake the first phase of FEED design completion for a period of six months. Upon successful completion, the two best companies will be invited to compete for Engineering, Procurement and Construction contract. 


The first competitive licensing round for some of the unlicensed areas was announced in February 2015. It covered six areas in the Albertine Graben for which data was already available.  They are Ngassa (410 Km2) in Hoima District, Taitai & Karuka (565 Km2) in Buliisa District, Ngaji (895 Km2) in Rukungiri & Kanungu Districts, Mvule (344 Km2) in Moyo and Yumbe Districts together with Turaco (425 Km2) and Kanywataba (344 Km2) in Ntoroko District. . 

Two new laws were enacted during 2013: the Petroleum (Exploration, Development and Production) Act 2013 and the Petroleum (Refining, Conversion, Transmission and Midstream Storage) Act 2013.  Regulations to operationalize these laws have been drafted. The Public Finance Act 2015 provides for among others the management of revenues accruing from petroleum activities. You can access the Acts and Regulations here.
  • Three international oil companies are currently licensed in Uganda and working under a Joint Venture Partnership:China National Offshore Oil Corporation Uganda Limited (CNOOC (U) Ltd), Total E&P Uganda B.V and Tullow Uganda Operations Pty Limited.
  • Over 30 seismic surveys have been undertaken resulting in the acquisition of 7,254.6 line Kilometers of Two Dimensional (2-D) seismic data and 1,948.6 square kilometers of Three Dimensional (3-D) Seismic data. 
  • 120 exploration and appraisal wells have been 
  • 106 of these wells encountered oil and/or gas 
  • Uganda boasts of a drilling success rate of over 85%. 
  • 21 oil and/ or gas discoveries all in the Albertine Graben bordering the Democratic Republic of Congo. 
  • Petroleum resources estimated at over 6.5 billion barrels of oil equivalent in place with 1.4 billion barrels of oil estimated to be recoverable. 
  • Less than 10% of the Albertine Graben is currently licensed, while over 14,000 Sq. km of acreage with high potential for petroleum production remains unlicensed in the Albertine Graben. 
  • Over 10,000 sq. km of acreage with potential for petroleum production exists outside of the Albertine Graben 
  • Cumulative
  • Foreign Direct investment in petroleum exploration since 1998 was estimated to be US$ 2.8 billion at the end of 2014 but was projected to reach US$ 3 billion by end of 2015.