By EMMANUEL WERE
Turkana, Kenya: Kenya’s oil prospects received a shot in the arm as Tullow Oil announced the most recent well it has drilled is commercially viable.
The British firm announced yesterday that if Kenya drills the Etuko-1 well, it will have a possible average production of 300 million barrels in all its three wells. Ngamia-1 and Twiga South-1 wells are the other commercially viable wells Tullow has drilled since January last year.
“Following the completion of the Etuko-1 well, Kenya’s petroleum resources are expected to be in excess of 300 million barrels, exceeding the basin threshold for development,” Tullow said in a statement in reference to the oil discovery in the region.
The Etuko-1 well seems to have a lot of potential because Tullow said it had deepened the drilling and encountered about 50 metres of potential net oil pay. Previous announcements had put Twiga South-1 well net pay at 30 metres.
The Etuko-1 well is located on Block 10BB in Lokichar basin, in Turkana County. The discovery has raised prospects of oil in Kenya and also throughout the region, given Uganda has also struck the commodity.
“Our exploration-led growth strategy delivered major success in Kenya and Ethiopia, further enhancing East Africa as a new oil region,” said Aidan Heavey, Tullow-Oil’s CEO.
The British firm also announced more success on the Ngamia-1 and Twiga South-1 wells where the previous estimates of barrels of oil per day were increased from 3,000 barrels per day to 5,000 barrels per day.
Net pay is the thickness of an oil reservoir, which is capable of producing hydrocarbons.
The new discoveries mean Tullow will have to engage stakeholders to ensure Kenya benefits from the oil.
“Resources discovered to date are of a scale that the partnership will initiate discussions with the Government of Kenya and other relevant stakeholders to consider development options,” the company said in its statement released yesterday.
Tullow, which is listed on the London Stock Exchange, reported its first-half 2013 net profit fell to Sh21.2 billion compared to Sh49.3 billion for the same period last year.
The British firm hopes to increase its exploration activities in Africa, especially in East Africa, with the discovery of the new oil deposits.