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Tullow finds more oil in Kenya

Recently elected Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta

Newly elected Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta was recently in Uganda to discuss the construction of a joint oil pipeline with Uganda and Rwanda. His government is eager to ascertain the commerciality of the country’s oil discoveries.

Tullow Oil announced last week that it had found more oil North of Kenya in its Etuko-1 well, building on the company’s previous successes with the Ngamia-1 and Twiga South wells in the Turkana area, as Kenyans continue to await confirmation of the commerciality of their oil discoveries.

Commenting on the discovery, Kenya’s Commissioner in charge of Petroleum at the Ministry of Energy, Martin Mwaisakenyi Heya, told Oil in Uganda that Kenya was excited by the news, but would push the oil companies to drill more exploration wells.

“We are very happy about the discovery but want Tullow to bring more rigs and drill more wells so that we can appraise the resources. We want to know how much we have,” he said.

Tullow has also released results from its flow tests of the Ngamia-1 and Twiga South-1 wells, indicating better potential than earlier estimated, with both wells estimated to hold at least 250 million barrels of waxy crude oil.

“Analysis of the test data from both the Ngamia-1 and Twiga South-1 wells has resulted in the doubling of our previous estimates of net oil pay to 200 metres and 75 metres respectively,” read a statement on the company’s website.

“The combined mean associated resources for the two discoveries is now estimated to be over 250 million barrels of oil with the potential to increase further following appraisal,” it added.

The results have also excited international commentators, with some analysts predicting that Kenya’s reserves would eventually dwarf Uganda’s.

But Commissioner Heya disagrees. “Uganda is much ahead of Kenya. They (Uganda) have drilled about 91 wells. There is no way Kenya can surpass Uganda surely,” he told Oil in Uganda.

Tullow looks set to close the year on a high, after a disappointing trading update in January. The company has been awarded an appraisal licence for its Waragga well in the Kaiso Tonya area in Hoima and, together with its partners, is reportedly on the verge of concluding an agreement with the Uganda government on a basin development plan for the Lake Albert Basin.

Report by BO

  • Julius Gyaviira