The Tilenga project is expected to start commercial operations in 2025. Credit: Pattadon Ajarasingh via Shutterstock.
The Tilenga development covers two production licences consisting of six fields. Credit: Petroleum Authority of Uganda.
The oil produced from the project will be transported to Tanzania via the East African Crude Oil Pipeline (EACOP). Credit: Petroleum Authority of Uganda.
The Tilenga oil field was discovered in 2006. Credit: Business Wire.

It is being developed by a joint venture of TotalEnergies (56.67%), China National Offshore Oil (CNOOC, 28.33%), and Uganda National Oil Company (UNOC, 15%). Total E&P Uganda (TEPU), a subsidiary of TotalEnergies, is the operator of the field.

The environmental and social impact assessment report was approved by the country’s National Environment Management Authority in April 2019 for ten years and the final investment decision for the field was made in February 2022.

Drilling over the Tilegna field is expected to start in 2023. A peak production of 190,000 barrels of oil per day (bopd) is expected to commence from the field in 2025.

Location and discovery details

The Tilenga field is located in the Albertine Graben within the Buliisa and Nwoya districts in the north of Lake Albert, a major oil and gas resource area for Uganda estimated to contain more than one billion barrels.

Discovered in 2006, the field spans an area of 110,00ha over six production licenses including three from Contract Area-1, and three from the northern section of License Area-2.

The production licences include six fields, namely, Jobi-Rii, Gunya, Ngiri, Kasamene-Wahrindi, Kigogole-Ngara, and Nsoga. Jobi-Rii is located within the Murchison Falls National Park, which is a protected area home to various forms of wildlife and is an important tourist attraction.

The project is part of the Lake Albert development project, which also comprises the Kingfisher oil field and the East African Crude Oil Pipeline (EACOP).

Tilenga field development details

The development of the Tilenga field includes the drilling of 426 wells from 31 well pads. Out of the 426 wells, 200 will be water-injecting wells, 196 will be oil-producing wells, two will be polymer pilot wells, and 28 will be reference wells. A total of ten wells will be drilled in the Murchison Falls National Park area to minimise the project’s footprint in the protected area.

The project also includes the development of 160km of flowlines and buried pipeline network, a central processing facility (CPF), and a water abstraction system. Other infrastructure such as new roads and temporary and permanent operation support base camp will also be developed.

Produced oil will be delivered through the 160km buried pipeline to the CPF in Kasenyi village, Ngwedo, Buliisa, for the separation and treatment of the fluids including oil, water, and gas. The construction of the CPF and other associated infrastructure commenced in May 2021.

Central processing facility details

The CPF will remove impurities such as water, sand, salts and gas from the oil produced. The water produced will be reinjected into the fields while the associated gas will be processed into liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), for further sale.

The associated gas produced will be also utilised for generating the power required for the treatment process and the production of LPG. The excess power generated will be exported to the pipeline and the national grid via a 132kV transmission line.

Oil transportation from the Tilenga field

A 95km-long, 24in diameter feeder pipeline is planned to be developed to transport crude oil from the CPF to a delivery point in Kabeele in Hoima district.

From the delivery point, the oil will be transported to either a refinery or to an export terminal in Chongoleani, Tanga, Tanzania, through the EACOP.

Contractors involved

Expro, an energy services provider, was contracted to provide well intervention and integrity services for five years for the Tilenga project in June 2023.

McDermott International, an engineering and construction solutions provider to the energy industry, in consortium with Sinopec International, an energy company, was awarded a conditional engineering, procurement, supply, construction and commissioning contract for the CPF, flowlines, and other associated surface facilities of the project in June 2021. Sinopec is responsible for the production and injection network.

McDermott subcontracted GCC Services, a remote site services company, for camp services, Essar Infrastructure Uganda, an infrastructure development company, for structural, mechanical and piping installation, and Mota-Engil Uganda, a subsidiary of Mota Engil, for general civil work of the Tilenga Project.

Schlumberger, an energy technology company, was awarded a contract for providing drilling, completions, and production services for the project in March 2022. The scope of the contract included the delivery of directional drilling services, upper and lower completions, artificial lift solutions, as well as wellheads for the field.

A conditional contract was awarded to Vallourec Oil and Gas France, a tubular solutions provider, for delivering casing, tubing, and related services in June 2021.

ZPEB Uganda, an oil field services company, was chosen for providing a rig package consisting of onshore drilling rigs, tubular running, and fishing services in June 2021.

The front-end engineering and design (FEED) phase one was undertaken by three companies including Technip, an engineering and technology company, Fluor, an engineering construction business, and CB&I, a designer and builder of storage facilities and part of McDermott.

Phase two of FEED was undertaken by CB&I and Fluor in May 2018. NEWPLAN, an engineering services company, was subcontracted for performing the environmental studies of FEED phase two.

The human rights impact assessment report of the project was prepared by Eco Partners, an environmental consultancy, and LKL International Consulting, a consulting company.

Other contractors involved in the project are General Dynamics Mission Systems-Italy, a telecommunications solutions provider, Plexus, a social and environmental governance advisory consultancy, Excellence Logging, an energy services provider, OSL, a drilling contractor, and Envirosev Uganda, a waste management company.

Excel Construction Uganda, a construction company, Gauff Consultants Uganda, an engineering consultant, MSL Uganda, a logistics and supply service, Q Sourcing, a management consultant, OGAS Solutions, an oil and gas services provider, and Mantrac Uganda, an equipment supplier, are also involved in the project.