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Kenya on fast track to join world’s top oil producers

By By MACHARIA KAMAU | January 16th 2014
British oil exploration firm Tullow has struck fresh oil deposits at Amosing-1 and Ewoi-1 wells in Turkana County, increasing estimates of discovered resources in the region.


Turkana County could be holding well over a billion barrels of oil, which have the potential to place the region as a key oil province globally. This is after British oil explorer Tullow Oil announced that it had struck oil in two more wells – Amosing 1 and Ewoi 1 – in the county.

The new finds pushed the estimates for the basin to 600 million barrels of oil but the firm noted that the overall potential for the region could be well over a billion barrels of oil. 

Tullow – which operates the Kenyan oil blocks in partnership with Africa Oil – also said a clearer picture of the amount of oil in the area would be seen over the next two years when more exploration wells are sunk as well as further research is undertaken on the already drilled wells.

“Tullow believes that the overall potential for the basin, which will be fully assessed over the next two years through a significant programme of exploration and appraisal wells, is in excess of one billion barrels of oil,” the firm said in a statement.

The latest discovery puts Kenya well on its way to being an oil producer and Tullow notes that the Turkana region has potential to become a significant global hydrocarbon province.

The firm further said it would, in partnership with the Government, start exploring oil extraction and the possibility of developing an oil export infrastructure, including putting up an oil pipeline between the Kenyan coast and the Turkana oil fields.

“We will now be working with the national and county governments with the aim of progressing both the upstream development and the associated export pipeline to project sanction in the period 2015/2016. There is clearly scope for the development to be expanded if there is further exploration success in other basins,” Paul McDade, the chief operating officer for Tullow Oil said.

The Amosing and Ewoi discoveries in Block 10BB announced yesterday bring to seven the number of wells from which the firm has struck oil in Turkana. The Amosing-1 well intersected net oil pay of between 160 and 200 metres, more than the firm expected. Ewoi-1 encountered net pay of 20 to 80 metres.

Angus McCoss, exploration director for Tullow, said the Turkana region had potential to be a significant oil and gas producer. He added that Tullow planned to drill at least a well every month for the next two years,

“Exploration results to date from the first basin, among a chain of basins, have proven that Tullow’s onshore acreage in northern Kenya has the potential to become a significant new hydrocarbon province,” he said yesterday.

He said the programme of over 20 wells planned across Tullow licences over the next 24 months should materially add to the 600 million barrels of oil discovered to date through a combination of exploration and appraisal.

“With up to five other analogous basins being tested during this programme, Tullow has the opportunity to increase Kenya’s resources significantly beyond today’s estimates,” added McCoss.

The new estimates of the oil resource are twice the estimate that the firm had made mid last year of 300 million barrels. The two wells are in addition to five other wells where the firm has made oil finds in the two-year period since March 2012.

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