Kenya maps seven oil blocks for deep sea exploration
Laaska news Dec. 10, 2011
NAIROBI, Dec. 10 (Xinhua) — Kenya is mapping seven deep sea oil blocks as it steps up the hunt for the black gold, an energy official has said.
“We have delineated new zones for deep water exploration,” Hudson Adambi, deputy energy commissioner at the Kenyan Energy Ministry, said here Friday.
Adambi said the government is encouraging local administrators to reach out to local communities where the oil exploration is currently ongoing and hopes that the local communities would benefit from ensuing opportunities.
The Survey of Kenya, a government department that demarcates land and boundaries, has been requested to demarcate the deep sea blocks before they are allocated, Adambi said.
Kenya has attracted 12 international oil exploration firms. The 13th firm, whose identity has not been disclosed, was licensed on Dec. 1. The state-run National Oil Corporation has been allocated a single oil exploration block.
“Oil exploration is an important economic activity. We hope if we strike oil, we would manage the high cost of living in the country, that is why we are looking at the deep sea exploration,” Adambi said.
Kenya has never made any substantive commercial oil discoveries despite ongoing oil exploration that started in the early 1930s.
Oil exploration blocks in the semi-desert areas of Mandera were largely abandoned after explorers failed to discover commercial quantities of oil in the northern frontier.
Kenya’s Anza Basin, which has a total of 12 oil exploration blocks, appears to be the most explored, followed by two other wells in Mandera, where two wells have been dug to view the surface.
Energy Ministry officials remain optimistic about possible oil finds following the ongoing exploration by Tullow, a British firm, which is also engaged in activities around the Mandera region.