Good news for Kenya as Tullow strikes more oil

The discovery moves Kenya closer to hitting a billion barrels of recoverable reserves

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Kenya's long wait to start exporting small-scale crude oil has received a major boost after more fresh oil was struck in the Turkana fields.

British explorer Tullow Oil Plc on Wednesday announced that it had discovered more crude oil in Emekuya-1 well in South Lokichar basin, Turkana.

The developer of oilfields in the county said that it had struck 75 meters of oil in the Turkana fields; edging the country closer to hitting a billion barrels of recoverable reserves.

This will be the second fresh oil discovered since mid-January this year when the exploration company discovered another 25 meters of oil at Erut-1.

Tullow said the find suggests the main oil reservoir is on the same gradient as the Etom-2 well which demonstrates that a major part of the Greater Etom structure is oil-filled.

“This well has proven oil charge across a significant part of the Greater Etom structure and we are very encouraged by the quality and particularly the regional extent of the reservoir,’’ said Tullow’s Exploration Director Mr Angus McCoss.

The discovery will help bolster Kenya’s case in its plan to start small-scale oil exports (2,000 barrels per day) from June so as to see how the global market responds to its oil.

China and India are by far the main interested buyers of the Turkana crude oil with the Indian route offering the lowest freight cost for Kenyan crude at Sh257 per barrel.

Just last month, Africa Corporation and two more firms discovered net gas and oil in well 6 and Ngamia 10 wells after drilling in South Lokichar basin.

Tullow holds 50 per cent equity while Africa Oil and Maersk have 25 per cent stake each. The explorer says it plans to drill four additional wells.

Commercial production of the crude oil is expected to start from 2020.

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