KAMPALA, May 7 (Xinhua) -- Uganda's cabinet has approved the licensing of five oil blocks in the second round of the country's oil exploration in the Albertine Graben, located in the western region.
A government statement issued in Kampala on Tuesday said the Avivi, Omuka, Kasuruban, Turaco and Ngaji blocks are located both offshore and onshore of Lake Albert, shared with eastern Democratic Republic of Congo.
"The objectives of implementing the second licensing round include... establishment of additional petroleum resources and reserves to the current recoverable reserves estimated at 1.4 billion barrels of oil and 500 billion cubic feet of non-associated gas," the statement said.
The approval, which was made on Monday, also aims at creating opportunities for national participation through service provision and employment, according to the statement.
Last month, minister of energy and mineral development Irene Muloni said a new round of competitive bidding for oil exploration licenses would be announced later this month.
Three companies are participating in the first round of oil exploration. China National Offshore Oil Corporation, Total, and Tullow are operating in the first blocks in the Albertine Graben.
The Ugandan government expects commercial oil production to start by 2023.