Kenya strikes oil in remote northern region
It will take a number of years and more wells before the region can become commercially viable.
Mon, Mar 26, 2012 at 07:35 AM
KENYAN OIL FUTURES: An oil and gas terminal belonging to the oil giant Shell on Bonny Island in southern Nigeria. Kenya's newly discovered oil could be a boon for the country. (Photo: Pius Utomi Ekpei/AFP)
NAIROBI — Kenya struck oil in its remote northwestern Turkana region after exploratory drilling by Anglo-Irish firm Tullow Oil, but has yet to establish commercial viability, President Mwai Kibaki said March 26.
"Our country has made a major breakthrough in oil exploration," Kibaki said, speaking at a conference in Nairobi.
"This is the first time Kenya has made such a discovery and it's a very good news for our country."
Wells drilled by Tullow Oil had found oil, Kibaki said, but there were no details of the potential scale of the find.
"To establish commercial viability they have to drill multiple wells," Kibaki said.
"It is... the beginning of a long journey to make our country an oil producer, which typically takes in excess of three years. We shall be giving the nation more information as the oil exploration process continues," he added.
Tullow Oil, which also struck oil in neighboring Uganda, said the find had exceeded their expectations.
"This is an excellent start to our major exploration campaign in the East African rift basins of Kenya and Ethiopia," said Tullow's exploration director Angus McCoss.
"To make a good oil discovery in our first well is beyond our expectations and bodes well for the material program ahead of us," he added.
Copyright 2012 AFP Global Edition