KAMPALA, Uganda, Oct. 1 (UPI) -- French energy company Total said it expected to get Ugandan approval for commercial oil production in 2017, a full year later than originally expected.
Loic Laurandel, an exploration and production manager for Total, was quoted by The Wall Street Journal as saying commercial oil production was expected within five years.
"We are working closely with our partners and the Ugandan government to get the necessary approvals to enable us deliver first oil by late 2017," he said.
Total moved into Uganda following a deal this year with frontier development company Tullow Oil and China National Offshore Oil Corp.
Uganda is eager to exploit resources tied to the Lake Albert region, which is estimated to hold as much as 2.5 billion barrels of oil. Companies like Tullow aim to start developing Ugandan oil fields within three years.
The Journal reported that Total delayed commercial production because of disputes between foreign companies and the Ugandan government over development plans.
Total said it expected to produce as much as 230,000 barrels of oil production per day from the Lake Albert region by 2020. An investment of as much as $650 million should target appraisals in the country by next year, said Laurandel.