Bulk of Uganda commercial oil production to start in 2017-minister
* Bidding rounds for exploration to be announced by year-end
* Uganda targets exports of 140,000 bpd of crude
* Uganda will share 40 pct stake in refinery with partner countries
By Silvia Antonioli
LONDON, May 9 (Reuters) - Uganda expects the bulk of its commercial oil production to start by the end of 2017 as it awaits a pipeline to export crude oil and a refinery to be built, the minister of energy and mineral development said.
The east African country first discovered crude deposits in the Albertine rift basin along its border with Democratic Republic of Congo in 2006.
The discovery could lead to billions of dollars in revenue from expected crude oil exports of 140,000 barrels a day (bpd) and production of about 200,000 bpd, according to the minister, offering a boost for East Africa's third-largest economy.
Crude extracted will be shared between a thermal power generation plant, a planned refinery and an export pipeline.
While some smaller volumes of oil could be produced from 2016 to generate energy for domestic consumption, the bulk of production will only start the following year, once the refinery and the pipeline are completed, minister Irene Muloni said. Continued...