Thursday, 4 October 2012

New Oil may be found in Kenya

Add -- U.S. President Barrack Obama (R) and Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney attend the first presidential debate at Denver University, Denver, Colorado, the United States, Oct. 3, 2012. (Xinhua/Zhang Jun) 
Canadian oil and gas firm Simba Energy said on Wednesday that it expects to strike oil reserves of over 1 billion barrels in Kenya's north eastern region of Wajir.

The Canadian company said data from passive seismic research that has been completed has indicated large potential for Block 2A, the company's block that measures 7,000 square km. "An independent seismic evaluator estimated that we are likely to get 2 billion barrels from one of our most promising wells. But my own estimation is that we are assured of a half of this amount, " said James Dick, the Chief Technical Officer of Simba Energy in a briefing in Nairobi. He said the block owned by the company is surrounded by "significant oil and gas" reserves based on seismic data gathered by the company and other prospecting companies in the area that include Africa Oil, Marathon Oil and Taipan.
Simba Energy which is a listed Canadian company has already signed a production sharing contract with the Kenyan government. The company said it expects to start drilling in the next eight months, starting with the well located in south of the Wajir County that has shown greatest potential. The new finding if confirmed will make Kenya a key new player in the continent's oil business in the next five years when production is likely to start. Earlier this year, Tullow Oil reported commercially viable oil reserves in Turkana, an arid area north west of Kenya. The reserves there are estimated to be 3 billion barrels.  The company has also started drilling another well not far from the confirmed Ngamia 1 well and has reported it also holds high prospects for striking reserves.

There are currently more than 10 companies prospecting for oil and gas in Kenya's offshore and onshore blocks, part of the rush to explore virgin lands of east Africa for oil and gas.  Already, oil finds have been confirmed in Kenya and a gas find in Tanzania. Oil and gas imports are ironically the biggest drain to East Africa Community members' foreign exchange reserves, accounting for the highest value of imports. The oil and gas finds including the planned oil refinery from Lamu Port in Kenya to South Sudan and Uganda promise to turn around the economies of the region in the next 10 years.

Simba Energy said part of the new oil and gas find in the region is because of the advancement in the drilling technology including use of 3-Dimensional seismic equipment which gives better geological data than the previous system. According to Dick, the time it takes to drill the same length of a well has also dropped by three times compared to the 20 years ago because of improved technology. "The rising price of oil has also meant that there is motivation to invest in improved drilling technology," he said. Simba Energy Inc. is a Pan African oil & gas exploration company focused on onshore opportunities across Africa. It owns 60 percent interest in onshore Blocks 1 and 2 in Guinea, and has Block 3 in Mali. Simba also has applications pending for onshore blocks in Liberia and Ghana.  (Xinhua)

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