Kenya strikes oil, creates history

Kenya_discovered_oil_in_its_northwestern_Turkana_regionKenya struck oil for the first time after exploratory drilling by Anglo-Irish firm Tullow Oil. The discovery was made in the country's northwestern Turkana region

Calling it a “major breakthrough”, Kenya President Mwai Kibaki said, “It is the beginning of a long journey to make our country an oil producer, which typically takes in excess of three years. We shall be giving the nation more information as the oil exploration process continues.” However, Kibaki cautioned that commercial viability of the oil find in the northwest Turkana region is still uncertain.

Some analysts and economic experts, reacting to the development, opined there would be a lot of expectations if the oil discovered becomes commercially viable, and firms in various other sectors such as construction, power and manufacturing would be the initial beneficiaries.
The exploration well has encountered in excess of 20 metres of net oil pay. It was drilled to an intermediate depth of 1,041 metres and has been successfully logged and sampled. Moveable oil with an API greater than 30 degrees has been recovered to surface. This oil has similar properties to the light waxy crude discovered in Uganda, according to Tullow Oil.

Tullow’s exploration director Angus McCoss, said, “This is an excellent start to our major exploration campaign in the East African rift basins of Kenya and Ethiopia. To make a good oil discovery in our first well is beyond our expectations and bodes well for the material programme ahead of us.”
“Tullow is working closely with the Government and people of Kenya as a committed long term partner to unlock the oil potential of the region. We look forward to further success as seismic and drilling activities continue to gather pace,” McCoss added.

Tullow has discovered oil in a number of African countries, including Ghana and Sierra Leone.


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