Tilenga oil project in Uganda is expected to start production in the first half of 2025, reported Reuters, citing Uganda National Oil Company (UNOC) CEO Proscovia Nabbanja.

“The drill kits have been put up and the drilling has started,” Nabbanja told the news agency.

The UNOC executive, who was speaking on the sidelines of an Energy Asia conference, added: “We are on track for first oil in H1 2025.”

The project is operated by French energy giant TotalEnergies in partnership with China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC) and UNOC.

It is located in the Buliisa and Nwoya districts in the East African country’s Lake Albert oilfields.

The final investment decision (FID) of the project was approved in 2022 and the development cost is expected to be $4bn.

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According to GlobalData, at its peak in 2028, the project is estimated to produce nearly 190,000 barrels per day (bpd) of crude oil and condensate.

The East African Crude Oil Pipeline (EACOP), worth $3.5bn, will carry oil from the Tilenga facility to the Tanzanian port of Tanga for export.

By as early as 2025, the EACOP will be able to export up to 246,000bpd of petroleum to international markets.

With a 62% ownership interest, TotalEnergies is EACOP’s major shareholder.

Tanzania Petroleum Development Corporation and the state-run UNOC are two other investors, each holding 15%, while China’s CNOOC has an 8% stake.

Earlier this week, five groups of activists sued TotalEnergies for the second time over Tilenga oil development and EACOP.