Total Energies secures first oil rig for Tilenga project

A statement from Total Energies shows the ‘ZPEB Rig 1501’ is a highly innovative 1,500 Horsepower (HP) walking land rig with full integration, automation, low emission and is fully soundproofed. 

Officials flag off of Total Energies’ first oil drilling rig during the handover ceremony at the Honghua Factory, Guanghan City in China on Monday. PHOTO | COURTESY

GUANGHAN, CHINA: Total Energies has completed its first oil drilling rig for the Tilenga project after passing endurance tests at the Honghua Factory, Guanghan City in China.

Total Energies’ Tier one contractor Zhongyuan Petroleum Exploration Bureau (ZPEB) received the oil rig code named ‘ZPEB Rig 1501’ at the official handover ceremony in China on Monday . ZPEB won the contract for the detailed design and construction of oil drilling rigs.

The Total Energies Uganda consultant in China, Mr Thierry Vinay, said this was the first step to deliver the country’s first oil expected in 2025.

Mr Vinay said the endurance tests were conducted following the conclusion of the rig building. 

This, he said, marks an important milestone in the project’s activities as it precedes the imminent shipment of the rig to Uganda. 

“This signifies progress towards the commencement of our drilling activities and subsequent delivery of first oil in Uganda. Thank you to all the teams that have worked tirelessly on building this rig and we look forward to receiving it in Uganda,” Mr Vinay said at the handover.

The oil rig is expected in the country by November, and will support the company’s oil drilling operations for the 400 oil wells at the northern tip of Lake Albert in Buliisa and Nyowa districts.  

The company’s external communications and public affairs coordinator, Ms Linda Nabirye, said the oil rig is one of the three drilling rigs that will operate in the north and south of River Nile where the oil wells are situated. 

Ms Nabirye said the other two drilling rigs being constructed in China are expected early next year.  

A statement from Total Energies shows the ‘ZPEB Rig 1501’ is a highly innovative 1,500 Horsepower (HP) walking land rig with full integration, automation, low emission and is fully soundproofed. 

The rig’s 1,500 HP is equivalent to the horsepower of four heavy duty trucks. 

The substructure and rig floor integrates all the necessary equipment to allow its movement from one oil well to another well during drilling operations without equipment disconnection. 

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The testing of the rig involved 100 percent of the rig equipment being installed and run simultaneously and continuously for 24 hours up to maximum working pressure (90 percent) of the system. 

The statement shows a 24-hour endurance test is so stringent, that if a problem is identified requiring stoppage for more than 30 minutes, then a 24-hour count must be restarted to ensure that the problem is resolved.   

Total Energies will undertake drilling of more than 400 oil wells spread across 31 well pads in six fields (Jobi Rii, Ngiri, Gunya,Kigogole, Nsoga, Kasemene and Wahrindi) in Nwoya and Buliisa districts. 

Ms Nabirye said the company is undertaking major infrastructural developments in preparation for drilling operations such as the construction of the Tangi Operation Support Base camp.

The camp will host more than 600 oil workers for the exploitation of oil resources within Murchison Falls Park. 

Another project

The company is also undertaking civil works of the industrial area in Buliisa District. The area spans 300 hectares and it will host the Central Processing Facility (CPF) operating for 24 hours with camping facilities for 4,000 people, an operations support base, drilling base, wastewater treatment plant, and a lake water abstraction system.

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The CPF will process 190,000 barrels of oil per day with a supply of crude oil through 160 kilometres of flow-lines from the oil wells. 

Another 95 kilometre-24 inch feeder pipeline will transport the processed crude oil from the central processing facility in Buliisa to the export hub and refinery in Kabaale in Hoima.


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