Europe’s largest independent oil explorer Tullow Oil said it expects approval from the Ugandan Government for a deal that will allow it to begin a landmark oil development in the African country.

Tullow is awaiting government approval for a shareholding deal that will see it acquire stakes in two exploration blocks on the shores of Lake Albert from co-owner Heritage Oil.

Approval for the deal is expected soon while a finalisation process is agreed between Heritage and the Ugandan Government.

Meanwhile, Tullow said first oil from Ghana’s Jubilee field, one of the biggest oil finds in recent years, was on schedule for November or December this year and a vessel to facilitate production had already arrived in Ghana.

The company said it expected revenues for the first half of 2010 to be around $495m compared with $438m in the first six months of 2009, due to higher oil prices.