Uganda’s Kingfisher field is now expected to start production in 2020, having previously been scheduled for 2018-19, according to a report by GlobalData.

Entitled Uganda Kingfisher Project Panorama – Oil and Gas Upstream Analysis Report, the report provides details of the field development and its challenges.

The Kingfisher project is currently in the preliminary stages of development with final investment decision yet to be made. Lack of vital facilities have delayed the project, although the field development plan and production licence have been granted.

The field’s operator China National Offshore Oil Corporation has already completed some infrastructure projects necessary for its development, including expansion of an airstrip and construction of a 10km road from Ikamiro Village to Buhuka Parish.

Pre-front-end engineering and design for the field’s export oil pipeline have also been completed by the operator. A pre-development well has also been drilled, which will help in optimising the front-end engineering and design (FEED) of the field.

"Construction of the East African crude oil export pipeline is the other viable option for development of the field."

The FEED contract has been retendered in 2016 after being initially awarded to WorleyParsons in December 2013. The operator is assessing modular design concepts for field development as they provide cost-saving benefits and construction simplicity.

However, to achieve commercial production, the Ugandan Government needs to either undertake development of the country's oil refinery project or build an export pipeline connecting its fields to the Tanga port in Tanzania. The oil refinery project has stalled after investors pulled out of the construction deals.

Construction of the East African crude oil export pipeline is the other viable option for development of the field. Although despite Kenya agreeing for the pipeline to be constructed, security and cost concerns forced the country to withdraw from the project.

Final agreements over construction of the pipeline are expected to begin in 2017 and conclude in 2020. Failure to develop the pipeline is expected to affect a number of projects in Uganda and Tanzania.