An oil prospecting firm in Turkana County’s Lokichar basin has announced a five-fold increase in its estimates of oil reserves in the area.
Africa Oil, a Canadian oil and gas company firm prospecting together with British explorer Tullow Oil plc, on Tuesday said that results from tests conducted over the past one year showed that the South Lokichar basin contained 368 million barrels of oil, an increase of 557 per cent from the previous estimates.
“This level of resource exceeds the threshold for commercial development,” Mr Keith Hill, Africa Oil’s president and chief executive officer, said on Tuesday.
The tests were conducted by independent consultants Gaffney Cline on behalf of Africa Oil. The results show estimates as at the end of July this year.
The announcement comes just a month after Tullow announced in its half-year report for 2013 that Kenya’s oil resources meet the threshold for commercial exploitation, raising hopes of Kenya joining the league of oil producing nations.
However, the Ministry of Energy and Petroleum has insisted that oil exploration companies should drill a certain minimum number of wells, which in most oil producing countries are more than 40, before the country’s potential for oil production can be assessed.
In addition to these estimates, Africa Oil has indicated that it believes the Lokichar basin contains a total of 20.1 billion barrels of oil.
Africa Oil has interest in six areas which are run jointly with other oil exploration companies where Tullow Oil plc has discovered oil deposits.