The Tilenga project is operated by TotalEnergies Exploration, and Production (TEPU) on behalf of the Joint Venture Partners (JVPs) comprising of:  TEPU with the majority participating interest of 56.67%, the China National Offshore Oil Company (CUL) with 28.33%, and the Uganda National Oil Company (UNOC) with 15%. The project includes putting in place facilities to support the production of petroleum from six (6) oilfields located in Buliisa and Nwoya  districts.

The Tilenga project is one of the two (2) flagship Upstream Petroleum Production projects in the country.  The project consists of nine (9)  Onshore oilfields with one (1) field in the Murchison Falls National Park (MFNP) – North of River Nile, and eight (8) fields in the South of the Nile (outside the park).

The development of Tilenga project is planned to be undertaken through  Onshore drilling of four hundred, and twenty-six (426) wells from thirty-one (31) well pads, with three (3) drilling rigs, for approximately,4.6 years. The project is projected to produce 190,000 bopd of oil at peak, which will be processed and cleaned up at the Central Processing Facilities (CPF) located in the Industrial Area. The  CPF consists of a series of tanks and piping systems through which the produced oil and the associated gas will be processed to remove any unwanted mixtures such as water and sand.

The project infrastructure includes over one hundred and seventy (170) kilometres (km) of buried flowlines, and a ninety-six (96) km feeder pipeline, a Lake Water Abstraction System, and other infrastructure such as the Victoria Nile Crossing, Bugungu Airstrip,  Support bases, camps, and access roads. The oil fields under the Tilenga project have a combined volume of oil in place of 5.8 billion barrels of oil (Bbbls) with recoverable resources estimated at 874mmbbls.

Status of the Tilenga Project as of 30th June 2023

Several project activities are progressing in preparation for production of First Oil (FO). These include Enabling Infrastructure (EI) works, Engineering, Procurement, Supply, Construction and Commissioning (EPSCC),  Rig assembly and mobilisation in preparation for drilling, and Geosciences, among others as indicated below.

a) Tangi Construction Support Base

 The Tangi Construction Support Base (CSB) will logistically support the construction of facilities North of River Nile. Pearl Engineering Company Ltd, a Ugandan Company, carried out Site preparation works for the Tangi CSB. SINOPEC contracted Petrolink Engineering to construct offices, a fuel station, warehouse, and Materials Supply base, among others.

SINOPEC is working on welding, pipe coating, surface preparation, and treatment of flowline pipe surfaces. The progress of mobilisation of construction equipment such as pipe layers, wheel loaders, mobile power stations is at 95% completion.

b) Drilling related activities

 The drilling of the four hundred, and twenty-six (426)  wells on thirty-one  (31) well pads implies that each well pad will have about fourteen (14) wells. This is to minimise the surface footprint in the project area. TEPU contracted Mota-Engil Uganda Limited to carry out EI works on the well pads. The contractor commenced construction works and progressed with site preparation. By the end of 2025, three (3) drilling rigs will be operational in Tilenga with one (1) rig in the North of the Nile within MFNP, and two (2) drilling rigs in the South of the Nile (outside MFNP).

The activities at the different well pads as of 30th June 2023 are  outlined below.

  1. Jobi-Rii 05: This is the first well pad that will be used to drill wells under the Tilenga project. The first well was spudded on 28th June 2023 and drilling is ongoing with the objective of collecting additional data to improve the understanding of the field.
  2. Ngiri 03: This will be the second well pad to be drilled following the Jobi-Rii 05 Well Pad. ZPEB, the drilling contractor, assembled the rig components to 98%.
  3. Jobi-Rii 04: Activities on this well pad include installation of cellar precast walls, steel, and formwork assembly, casting of concrete for the cellar bases and installation of the precast walls, excavation of the subgrade layer between the cellars, hauling of the dump soil to the stockpile, and backfilling of the excavated subgrade between the cellars.
  4. Jobi-Rii 03: Prand Engineering Limited, a subcontractor of Mota-Engil Uganda Limited, is undertaking well pad site preparation, including cut and fill operations to level as well as compaction of the platform.
  5. Jobi-Rii 02: Activities on this well pad included construction of a temporary fencing around the pad, clearing, and topsoil removal.
  6. Gunya 01: Mota-Engil Uganda Limited is undertaking operations including steel and formworks at the cellar walls between the precast, deep excavation of the perimeter stormwater channel, haulage of soil to the stockpile, and blinding for the oil water separator.

c) Access Roads

Several access roads are under construction to facilitate access to the project sites. Some of the roads are finished with gravel while some are to be finished with an asphalt concrete.

d) Tilenga Industrial Area Enabling Infrastructure Works

Covering approximately 318 Ha (786 Acres), the Tilenga Industrial Area will host the 190,00bopd CPF together with other facilities such as the Drilling Support Base (DSB), CSB, Construction Camp (CC), Operator’s Camp (OC) and the Operations Support Base (OSB).  The Industrial Area site preparation works progressed to 89% compared to the planned progress of 90.5% as of 30th June 2023.  The current lag was attributed to soft soil conditions that required more effort to achieve required strength, and the rain that affected productivity.

TEPU handed over 70% of the Industrial Area to the Schlumberger, China Oil Services Limited (COSL), ZPEB and Vallourec, the  Drilling and Wells Contractors, McDermott, and the EPSCC contractor.

e) Detailed Engineering Design

The Authority attached staff to the review  of the   Engineering design of the Tilenga project facilities in Feltham, London. The status of activities was at  73.3% completion against a target of 81.7%.

f) Land Acquisition for the Tilenga Project

The Tilenga Project land requirement is approximately one thousand one hundred eighty-three (1,183) hectares with five thousand five hundred twenty-seven (5,527) PAPs. The acquisition of this land is subdivided into six (6) Resettlement Action Plans (RAPs) (1, 2, 3A, 3B, 4 and 5). The Authority is mandated to ensure a fair and transparent acquisition of land for the O&G projects.

TEPU implemented the following RAP 2-5  activities including the disclosure and signing of Compensation Agreements, and the construction of  Resettlement houses for physically displaced persons. The following progress was noted:

  1. Fifty-nine (59) Project Affected Persons (PAPs) were compensated. Overall, four thousand, six hundred and ninety-five (4,695) out of the four thousand, nine hundred and thirty (4,930) PAPs have been compensated, representing 95% completion. Entitlement disclosure and signing of Compensation Agreements stands at 97%, and 96%, respectively.
  2. Twenty-three (23) resettlement houses were completed during the FY 2022/2023 Cumulatively, one hundred and five (105) out of two hundred and five (205), 51% were completed. Seventy-two (72) PAPs or 38% were relocated and received their titles in a handover ceremony held on 12th June 2023, presided over by the Minister, MEMD. An upgrade of twenty-two (22) RAP 1 Resettlement houses from one (1) to two (2) bedrooms, is going on and is expected to be complete during July 2023.


Figure 13: An elderly PAP in front of the Resettlement house in Buliisa (Inset: the house that was affected by the Tilenga project).

Figure 14: An aerial view of some of the  replacement houses for PAPs in Buliisa whose primary residence was impacted by the project.

Table 1: Land Acquisition Statistics for the Tilenga  project as at 30th June 2023




































A Primary Resident is a PAP whose main/only dwelling is affected by the project. Other categories of PAPs include landowners and land users. Some Primary Residents are also landowners.