Production target of 200,000 barrels a day for Tullow
TULLOW Oil said the Dublin-listed oil firm was likely to ramp up its production to around 200,000 barrels of oil per day by the middle of the decade, double a target of 100,000 for 2012.
Aidan Heavey also said on the sidelines of an African oil conference yesterday that the next 12 months of exploration in Uganda would be crucial to its assessment of reserves in the region where it is active.
"We can see our production easily doubling in the next three to four years to 200,000 bpd," Mr Heavey said. "A lot depends on projects coming on line and government approvals," he said.
Another Tullow official earlier told the conference the group hoped to hit 100,000 bpd in 2012 from around 75,000 currently.
Tullow has created huge excitement in east Africa since it discovered oil in commercially viable quantities in Uganda a few years ago. It says proven reserves there are about 1.1 billion barrels, but it estimates there could be as much as 2.5 billion barrels.
"The next 12 months will tell us" what the reserves in Uganda are, he said. "There are a lot of exploration plays still there."
In the case of Uganda he said it was vital that the discovery be significant.
"Uganda is 1,200 miles (1,920 kms) from the nearest coastline, and there is quite a limited market in Uganda for oil products. So we had to find enough there to make it worthwhile," he said.
Commercial production is supposed to start there in 2012, but Mr Heavey said it would be on a very small scale for at least the first few years.
He said the group was also keen on other countries in the region, especially Kenya.
"Our policy is very aggressive exploration. We like Kenya a lot and Ethiopia," he said.
He added that the group had no acquisitions planned as it preferred to grow without them. East Africa is a new frontier in oil exploration, and much of it remains virtually unexplored. (Reuters)