Africa Oil, Tullow restart Turkana drilling in hunt for additional deposits (Kenya)

By Brian Ngugi | Business Daily, Kenya December 21, 2016

Canadian Africa Oil and its UK partner Tullow have restarted drilling in Turkana County as they step up hunt for additional oil resources in Kenya’s north.

Africa Oil said the drilling would be a follow up on the earlier success in the region.

“Africa Oil is pleased to announce the resumption of drilling on Block 13T in Kenya. The Erut-1 well, which spudded on December 18th, is located on a large structural feature in the northern part of the South Lokichar basin and is intended as a follow up well to the successful Etom-2 well which discovered 102m of net pay that had some of the best reservoir characteristics seen to date in the basin,” Africa Oil said in a statement yesterday.

Spudding refers to the very beginning of drilling operations of a new well.

The firm said this is the first in a four-well programme, with the potential for an additional four contingent follow-on wells, which is expected to continue through the first half of 2017.

According to Africa Oil chief executive officer Keith Hill, the drilling activities will allow for tests to be carried out.

“We are excited to get back to drilling and particularly interested in the first two wells in the programme, which will test exploration prospects in the northern portion of the Lokichar Basin opened up by the Etom discovery.

These wells, and the follow up appraisal wells at Amosing and Ngamia, are important steps in moving the Lokichar development project forward,” said Mr Hill.

The Cabinet in August approved a plan to start producing crude oil, with a goal of reaching up to 4,000 barrels a day, as East Africa’s largest economy gears up to become an oil-producing country.

As part of the plan, infrastructure will be upgraded to allow trucks to ferry the oil to the Mombasa Port.

Africa Oil has backed the Early Oil Pilot Scheme (EOPS) transporting oil from South Lokichar to Mombasa, utilising road or a combination of road and rail.

This is being assessed to provide technical and non­technical information that will assist in full-field development planning.

It also stated commitment to plans to run a crude oil pipeline from South Lokichar to the port of Lamu, saying the joint venture partners have signed a memorandum of understanding with the government which confirms the intent to implement the project.

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