Tullow and Africa Oil upbeat about South Lokichar basin prospects

9297375627 951dc4684d oOil exploration has continued apace in Kenya. (Image Source: DEMOSH/Flickr) Kenya's South Lokichar basin remains one of the brightest hope for oil production in East Africa, according to senior executives from Tullow and Africa Oil

Speaking at the Africa Independents Forum in London this week, Dr Ian Cloke, vice president, new ventures, for Tullow, said that Lokichar would be the main focus of the company's work in Kenya. With 12 exploratory drillings, 21 appraisal wells. 11 accumulations discovered plus two tight oil finds, Dr Cloke said there is "potentially 1bn barrels in this basin".

"[Also,] there are multiple basins yet to drill and exploration and appraisal is ongoing," he said. Discoveries have been made from the Erut-1 and Emekuya-1 wells in the northern triangle of the Lokichar basin and de-risking is the next step.

Additionally, Tullow's work in Kenya includes exploring the Kero basin, where there have been oil shows as well as drilling wildcat wells to test locations in the Nyanga basin. 

Africa Oil has drilled four wells in the South Lokichar basin with four more planned. Keith Hill, the company's president, CEO and executive director, said the Kenyan government was helping to accelerate progress. In particular, Hill said that the decision to develop a pipeline has moved forward the company's partnership with the government.

Hill echoed Dr Cloke's view that South Lokichar is a 1bn-barrel basin and said that it was a low-cost operation, which has so far enjoyed a 100 per cent success rate. He described the Etom-2 discoveries as "some of the best quality reservoirs I've seen to date", adding that he thinks the company has "only scratched the surface" in terms of the basin's oil-producing potential. The basin's "simple structure" makes it especially attractive for ease of drilling operation.

"There are many undrilled prospects," Hill told the conference. As well as South Lokichar's operations, he said that Africa Oil was focusing on new basins in South Kerio, North Turkana and Lake Abaya.

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