Oranto Petroleum Limited, a Nigerian independent energy company founded by Nigerian billionaire Arthur Eze, received a two-year extension on Dec. 22 for its exploration license in the Ngassa Deep and Ngassa Shallow areas in Uganda. The extension enables Oranto to drill an exploration well and an appraisal well, subject to the results of the initial well.
In October, Oranto Petroleum saw its oil exploration licenses in Uganda’s Kikuube district, specifically for the Ngassa Shallow and Deep Play, expire. Billionaires.Africa reported at the time that high-ranking officials of Uganda’s Ministry of Energy were skeptical about renewing the licenses, with some questioning whether Prince Arthur Eze and his companies possessed the necessary funds for continued exploration in Lake Albert.
In 2017, the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development in Uganda awarded Oranto two petroleum exploration licenses for these areas. With the current extension, the company has committed to maximizing the additional time to achieve a successful outcome.
In a press statement seen by Billionaires.Africa, Prince Arthur Eze, Oranto’s chairman, expressed gratitude to the Ugandan government, led by President Yoweri Museveni, the Ministry, and the people of Uganda. He emphasized the extension’s significance in potentially increasing Uganda’s oil volumes and assured the Ministry of fulfilling the work program within the allocated time frame.
According to the announcement, the permit extension is in line with Uganda’s efforts to increase recoverable oil from its present levels of 1.4 billion barrels.The terms of the renewal include a production sharing agreement, royalties, cost of recovery, and profit sharing.
The Ngassa block, located in the Hoima District, is part of the Albertine Graben. Oranto, along with its sister company Atlas Petroleum, represents Africa’s largest privately-held exploration and production group in terms of acreage.
Atlas Oranto maintains a significant presence throughout Africa, possessing 22 oil and gas licenses across multiple African countries, including Equatorial Guinea, Senegal, South Sudan, Sao Tome and Principe, Uganda and Zambia.
Eze founded the company in 1991.