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Uganda signs oil exploration deal with Australia's Armour Energy

Staff Writer |
Uganda signed an oil exploration deal with Australia's Armour Energy Limited, the first under a protracted competitive licensing round launched in 2015.

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The production-sharing agreement covers Kanywataba block, a 133-square-mile area in the Albertine rift basin near the border with Democratic Republic of Congo, officials said at the signing in the Ugandan capital Kampala.

Kanywataba was previously licensed to existing operators, Frances' Total, China's CNOOC, and Britain's Tullow.

But the three firms, which now own all of Uganda's crude discoveries, gave back control of the block to the government in 2012 after explorations failed to find oil.

Energy Minister Irene Muloni said low oil prices meant "protracted negotiations" with firms that participated in the licensing round.

At the launch of the round, six blocks covering 2,674 square kilometres were offered and 19 firms initially expressed interest.

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