China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC) has yet to award an engineering, procurement and construction contract covering its Kingfisher project in Uganda, despite making a recommendation to the government about a year ago.

Industry officials said CNOOC recommended a consortium of China’s Offshore Oil Engineering Company (COOEC) and China Petroleum Engineering & Construction Company (CPECC) as its preferred bidder, but stopped short of making the award partly because of a tax dispute with local government.

CNOOC has dismissed its project team, Upstream was told, although it is thought to have retained a skeleton staff in Uganda.