Africa Oil spuds oil well in Kenya
Laaska News Jan 26, 2012
NAIROBI, Jan. 25 (Xinhua) — Canadian oil and gas exploration firm, Africa Oil said on Wednesday that it has started spudding the Ngamia-1 exploratory well on Block 10BB in Kenya.
The company said in a statement issued in Nairobi the Ngamia-1 well which is located in the Lokichar basin, a north-south trending rift basin that is part of the East African Rift System marks the start of a multiwell program on Block 10BB and adjacent blocks in the east African nation.
“We are very excited to be drilling our first well with Tullow. They have had enormous success with the Lake Albert Rift Basin project where in excess of 1 billion barrels have been discovered and this shares many geological similarities with our Kenyan assets,” Keith Hill, CEO of Africa Oil said in the statement.
The East African nation has never made any substantive commercial oil discoveries despite ongoing oil exploration that started in the East African nation in the early 1930s and later picked off in the 1950s.
Hudson Adambi, the Deputy Commissioner of Energy, at the Kenyan Energy Ministry said recently that oil exploration blocks in the semi-desert areas of Mandera in northern Kenya were largely abandoned after explorers failed to discover commercial quantities of oil in the northern frontier.
According to Adambi, 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.
Hill said the prospects of the Ngamia-1 well which will be drilled to a projected depth of 2,700 meters to test the oil potential in Miocene age sandstones could be a play opener for another great success in the region.
“Live oil was encountered in the Lokichar basin by the Loperot- 1 well which was drilled in 1992 and recovered 29 degree API crude from Miocene sandstones,” the company said.
Tullow is the operator with a 50 percent working interest, and Africa Oil has 50 percent.
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. Exploration experts say the semi-arid regions of northern and north-eastern Kenya, have the curvy rocks, formed millions of years back, when the region was an ocean. Officials said Ngamia-1 well will test a prospect that is similar to oil prospects drilled by Tullow and its partners early in the exploration efforts in the Lake Albert Rift Basin of Uganda. The company said drilling and evaluation of the well is expected to last between two and three months.
“A number of prospects and leads have been mapped and would be prospective following a success of the Ngamia prospect,” Hill said.
Kenya has attracted 12 international oil exploration firms. The 13th firm, whose identity has not been disclosed, was licensed on December 1,2011, while the state-run National Oil Corporation (NOCK) has been allocated a single oil exploration block to prospect for the commodity.
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