British Oil explorer Tullow has announced a fifth oil discovery in Kenya, raising the country’s prospects of becoming an oil producer.
In a statement, Tullow said the discovery, stretching to 100 metres of net oil pay was made at the Agete-1 well located in Block 13T in Northern Kenya, which has been drilled to a depth of 1,930 metres.
“A fifth consecutive oil discovery onshore northern Kenya highlights the emerging world class exploration and production potential within our rift basin acreage. An intensive campaign for 2014 includes appraisal and exploration within the first basin and pioneering wells targeting the prospectivity throughout the entire chain of similar rift basins,” said Angus McCoss, Tullow’s exploration director.
The well is operated by Tullow at 50 per cent interest while the rest is held by Africa Oil Corporation.
According to the British company, the discovery mirrors earlier finds that have been made at Ngamia, Twiga and Ekales wells, raising confidence for planned prospects in the Lokichar basin.
Tullow recently resumed work in its wells after it suspended operations for a period of two weeks following protests by angry residents of Turkana County who demanded jobs from thee company.
The company signed a memorandum of understanding with the government that among other things requires the British firm to establish a liaison office in the north and set aside funds to finance scholarships and training for locals so as to enable the secure employment in the company.
In its half year report released mid this year, Tullow estimated the Kenyan oil resources to run in excess of 300 million barrels and hinted that the discoveries made so far have hit the threshold for exploitation.
The company has already discovered oil in commercial quantities in Uganda and is waiting to commence production.
It says that Uganda shares a similar geological structure as Kenya, an indication that Kenya’s oil deposits could be viable for commercial exploitation.
The company is planning to start drilling the Amosing-1 well in Block 10BB before the end of this month.