Uganda is likely to have 2.5 billion barrels of commercially viable oil, an executive from Tullow Oil said today, adding that production would not begin in 2011 as previously expected.

'Our exploration has been phenomenally successful,' said Brian Glover, country manager for Tullow Uganda, which controls most reserves already discovered in the country's Lake Albert region. Previous estimates had put the figure closer to two billion barrels.

Glover, who was addressing an investors' conference, said Uganda's refinery, expected to be built in the central-western part of the country, would have a capacity of 200,000 barrels per day.

The company had hoped production would begin towards the end of 2011, but Glover said realising that goal was 'going to be quite challenging', 'due partly to poor infrastructure in the region'.

'The rail network could be pivotal, but it's not in great shape,' he said, also mentioning the bad condition of many Ugandan roads.

Glover urged east African firms to engage with Uganda's $10 billion production plan, either through infrastructure projects or other related sectors.