By Macharia Kamau
British firm Tullow Oil has struck oil in a fifth well in Northern Kenya, firmly putting the country on its way to being an oil producer.
The company yesterday said it had encountered large quantities of oil at the Agete-1 exploration well in Block 13T.
In a statement, Tullow said it had discovered and sampled moveable oil with an estimated 100 metres of net oil bay in quality sandstone reservoirs.
Agete 1 is the fifth well all drilled in Turkana County – where the firm has discovered substantial quantities of oil.
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Other wells that have showed similar results and sent the country to a frenzy about the prospects are Ngamia, Twiga, Ekales and Etuko, where Tullow between 60 and 100 meters of oil net pay.
Though the actual quantities are yet to be established, the reserves are estimated to be more than 20 billion barrels. They could last the country for the next 300 years. Kenya expects to start commercial production in 2016.
“The Agete-1 wildcat well is part of a major exploration campaign and has made the fifth consecutive oil discovery in the first of a chain of multiple rift basins across Tullow’s acreage in the region,” said Tullow in a statement yesterday. “This discovery de-risks several follow-on prospects located to the north and is on trend with the Twiga South, Ekales, and Ngamia oil discoveries and adds to the significant resource base already discovered.”
The well had been sunk to a total depth of 1 930 metres. Drilling will be suspended as the firm starts to test the oil found at the well and the flow rate, which would determine the quantity the well can produce in a day.
It added that it would now move its drilling rig to a new site – Ewoi 1 – which is close to Etuko. “Following completion of logging operations the well will be suspended for future flow testing which will confirm the net pay count,” said Tullow.
The rig will then move to drill the Ewoi-1 wildcat in the east of this basin, targeting a rift flank prospect similar to the recent Etuko oil discovery.”
Tullow operates the Agete-1 well with a 50 per cent interest and Africa Oil (50 per cent) has a non-operated interest.
The firm plans to drill about 12 wells over the next 12 months. Other than Ewoi, the firm plans to start drilling the Amosing-1 well, in Block 10BB, before end of this month.