By Beatrice Obwocha
President Mwai Kibaki on Monday announced that explorers have discovered oil in Turkana County.
The President said significant oil deposits were found in the North Rift Valley region.
The oil was discovered in Nakukulas area, 12 kilometres from Lokichar in Turkana South Constituency.
The exploration for oil in Turkana is being conducted by Tullow Oil Plc.
A statement posted on the Tullow’s website on Monday confirmed that they had discovered oil in Turkana.
"Tullow announces that the Ngamia-1 exploration well in Kenya has encountered in excess of 20 metres of net oil pay," the statement read in part.
Tullow said they discovered oil with properties similar to the light waxy crude discovered recently in Uganda after drilling a depth of about a kilometer.
The Ngamia-1 structure is the first prospect to be tested as part of oil exploration projects being conducted by the company in Kenya and Ethiopia.
The company stated that other prospects similar to the Ngamia project had been identified rising hopes of more oil discoveries in the region.
"The well will now be drilled to a depth of approximately 2,700 metres to explore for deeper potential," Tullow stated.
Tullow Exploration Director Angus McCoss said the company was excited about the discovery considering that was the first well they were drilling in Turkana.
"To make a good oil discovery in our first well is beyond our expectations and bodes well for the material programme ahead of us," he said.
He termed the discovery as a major exploration campaign in East Africa basins of Kenya and Ethiopia.
Tullow is a leading independent oil and gas, exploration and production company that discovered oil in Uganda and Ghana.
The company also has exploration interests in Gabon, Cote d'Ivoire, Mauritania, Congo (Brazzaville), Equatorial Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Senegal, Tanzania, Madagascar, Namibia and Ethiopia.
The company is quoted on the London and Irish Stock Exchanges and has interests in over 90 exploration and production licences across 22 countries. It focuses on four core regions namely Africa, Europe, South Asia and South America.