July 18, 2024

Kingfisher to resume oil operations as govt lifts suspension

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The Petroleum Authority of Uganda (PAU) has lifted the suspension of work at the Kingfisher Development Area (KFDA) in Kikuube district.

The Kingfisher project has for long been dogged by a number of safety incidents, with CNOOC particularly accused of failing to enforce strict safety standards. But now a statement from PAU says it has reviewed and realigned the safety protocols with the operator for overall improvement in the health, safety, and environment (HSE) culture and practices during operations.

Drilling and other operations at Kingfisher were indefinitely halted about a week ago after a truck belonging to one of the subcontractors at Kingfisher crashed and killed a security guard. The guard was reportedly opening the gate when he crashed to death. The project is currently in the construction stage and is expected to start commercial production in 2025.

PAU executive director Ernest Rubondo said, “This step has been taken after a rigorous examination of all standard procedures to ensure that the health and safety requirements are being robustly implemented by all contractors and sub-contractors. The authority has reviewed and realigned the safety protocols with the operator for overall improvement in the HSE culture and practices during operations.”.

PAU said it is satisfied that the agreed procedures, when implemented, will ensure the safety and well-being of all during the oil and gas operations. The statement did not, however, mention who is to foot the cost of the week-long suspension because it definitely had ramifications in terms of time lost, keeping a redundant workforce, and equipment at the camps.

Licensees are required to take the necessary measures to prevent and reduce the number of accidents among employees that are likely to result in loss of time for work, disability, or fatality to the employees. Drilling of wells has been ongoing since early January, when President Museveni commissioned the exercise.

“The issue of cost will be discussed at an appropriate time. The priority now is to enhance safety.”

In conclusion, the oil and gas sector in Uganda is subject to one of the toughest health, safety, and environmental requirements. Operators are required to ensure that oil and gas activities are undertaken in a manner that preserves human health and installations. PAU has a directorate that is mandated to ensure that licensees take the necessary measures to prevent incidents, hazards, and accidents and limit their consequences to human health and the environment.

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written by @enock katamba

Mr. katamba Enock: Professional designer with experience in web designing who started this activity in 2019 at Kyambogo University after graduation . Contact me on : (+256-758287080)

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