The Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development (MEMD) has debunked recent media reports suggesting that Oranto Petroleum Limited’s (OPL) license has expired. According to Solomon Muyita, the head of communications at MEMD, OPL’s license had been granted for a two-year period from 2017 to 2019, before being renewed for 2019 to 2021. However, due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the company sought compensation for the days lost.
Muyita clarified that the government approved an extension for OPL, which is now valid from December 2022 to December 2023. In July 2023, OPL submitted a request to the Ministry for a three-year extension, accompanied by a desire to renegotiate the terms of the production sharing agreement (PSA) for the Ngassa block. The proposed revisions encompassed aspects such as royalties, cost of recovery, and profit sharing.
The Ministry, in a response dated September 22, 2023, highlighted that the current legislation permits a maximum extension of two years, contingent upon the amendment of the PSA for the Ngassa block. Muyita emphasized that OPL had yet to provide compelling justifications to support their requested extension and renegotiation of terms.
To progress the matter, the Ministry instructed OPL to submit a detailed justification by October 14, 2023, and scheduled a presentation for October 21, 2023. As of now, OPL has not complied with these requirements.
These developments come in response to an article published by the Independent on October 12, 2023, titled “Oranto’s oil licenses in Albertine have expired.” However, the government’s statement dismisses the expiry claims, asserting that the license remains valid until the end of December 2023.
Oranto Petroleum’s operations in Uganda’s Albertine region play a crucial role in the country’s oil and gas sector. The government’s review of the extension request and subsequent renegotiation process will determine the future course of action regarding OPL’s activities in the Ngassa block.