Tullow invite bids for drilling 300 oil wells in Turkana as it mulls over its operations in Kenya

On 3rd July, President Uhuru Kenyatta flagged off the first consignment of crude oil destined for export from Kenya.

  • The UK petroleum explorer on Wednesday invited bids for the tender to drill the wells in the initial phase of production of the commodity.
  • For a company to be prequalified, it must demonstrate its onshore experience in providing similar services in remote locations preferably in Africa.
  • The firm’s operations in Kenya are to undergo a final investment decision exercise in late 2019.

The UK petroleum explorer on Wednesday invited bids for the tender to drill the wells in the initial phase of production of the commodity.

The firm, which is the operator of a number of blocks in Turkana’s South Lokichar basin and is set to spend up to Sh17.6 billion ($170m) in the Turkana petroleum fields this year, wants to prequalify the companies ahead of awarding drilling tenders in the commercial development phase of production.

“Tullow Kenya B.V. is currently planning the foundation phase of the Kenya development, which comprises drilling and completion of approximately 300 wells,” the firm said in a public notice whose details were published on its website.

Tullow has already commenced the evacuation of early crude oil from Turkana to Mombasa awaiting early exploratory exports.

The trucks are currently transporting approximately 600 barrels per day with this expected to steadily increase to 2,000 barrels per day once the Early Oil Production System is fully operational and production testing commences at the Amosing production facility in Lokichar, Turkana County.

The government has indicated that it could even ship out the early oil once it hits the 200,000 barrels mark.

“To support the Kenya development, we are seeking expressions of interest from suitably qualified and reputable drilling and completion services companies who wish to be prequalified to participate in the planned competitive tendering exercise for the various services that will be required,” the company said.

The tender will be for the foundation or initial production programme beginning 2020 and ending in 2025.

“Based on the current foundation phase schedule, the campaign (of 300 wells) will be from 2020 to 2025,” the notice said.

For a company to be prequalified, it must demonstrate its onshore experience in providing similar services in remote locations preferably in Africa and show sufficient capacity in terms of equipment and personnel to support a 300-well drilling campaign.

Meanwhile, the firm’s operations in Kenya are to undergo a final investment decision exercise in late 2019.

According to the latest 2018 June Trading Statement and Operational Update by Tullow Oil Company, Kenya development plan is well on course with projects expected to undergo a final investment decision exercises in late 2019.

Stakeholders are rooting for a positive outcome buoyed by among others the commencement of the Early Pilot Scheme.

“Tullow has performed strongly so far in 2018. With substantially reduced gearing and financial discipline embedded across the Group, we are we continue to make good progress in  sanctioning our developments in East Africa and, having refreshed the exploration portfolio, we are about to embark on a multiyear frontier drilling campaign targeting high impact prospects in Africa and South America’’ said Tullow CEO, Paul Mcade.

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