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Uganda has approved production-sharing agreements (PSA) with two oil firms for two oil exploration blocks, reported Reuters.

The two firms include DGR Energy Turaco Uganda Limited, owned by Australia’s DGR Global, and Uganda’s state-owned Uganda National Oil Company (UNOC).

The two exploration licences have an initial period of two years.

Uganda Junior Information Minister Godfrey Kabbyanga was cited by the news agency as saying that the country’s cabinet approved the agreements during a cabinet meeting.

DGR received approval for the PSA for the Turaco exploration area, which covers an area of 637km² in Uganda’s Albertine Rift basin near the border with Congo.

Production from the Albertine Rift basin, where the country made the first discovery of commercial reserves of crude oil in 2006, is anticipated to start in 2025.

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Another unit of DGR Global currently owns a stake in the Kanywataba block, a highly prospective oil and gas project located within the East African Rift basin in the Albertine Graben.

Under the second PSA, UNOC will undertake oil exploration work at the Kasuruban area, which covers more than 1,285km².

The two exploration areas form part of the five blocks that were auctioned by the country in the 2019 licencing round.

Last year, French major TotalEnergies and the China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC) made the final investment decision for developing large oil field and pipeline projects in Uganda.

The L. Albert Oil projects, which comprise the Tilenga and Kingfisher oil fields, are anticipated to have production rates of 230,000 barrels per day.