HDR hardman resources limited

hardman resources joins race to explore for oil in

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    The Ugandan government has licensed a second firm, from Australia, to explore for oil in southwestern Uganda in an ambitious project aimed at turning the country into an oil exporter.

    The Australian company, Hardman Resource N Ltd, is expected to begin exploration work on Lake Albert soon. The company was licensed to explore oil in Area 3 of the Lake Albert basin in 2001.

    Uganda has five prospective oil exploring areas along the western rift valley (the Albertine Grabe) covering an total area of nearly 22,000 square kilometers.

    Another company, Heritage Oil Corp. of Canada, is already drilling its second well at Semliki area by the shores of Lake Victoria, where its first well revealed that Uganda has "several billions of barrels" of oil, which would turn Uganda an oil exporting country as early as 2004. Three exploration areas are still available for licensing.

    Reuben J. Kashambuzi, commissioner of petroleum exploration in the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development, said the Australian company has already positioned its drilling equipment at the site.

    "Hardman has completed the preparation of seismic data over Lake Albert and it has completed modification on the new digital recording streamer," he said.

    The search for oil in Lake Albert comes after similar studies in the Semliki basin turned out commercially viable quantities of oil in the area.

    Heritage Gas and Oil drilled the first oil well in September 2002 and has said the area holds about 1.2 billion barrels of oil. Heritage and its Ugandan partner, Energy Africa Uganda Ltd., each hold a 50% stake in Block 3, the area where oil has been located.

    The prospective oil exploring areas are: the Pakwach area covering 4,285 sq. km, the 4,675 sq. km Semliki basin, the 4,630 sq. km Lake Albert basin, the 5,913 sq. km Lake Edward and Lake George basin, and the 6,040 sq. km Rhino Camp.

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