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US oil firm plans to drill Turkana well

Oil drilling in northern Kenya. PHOTO | FILE
Oil drilling in northern Kenya. American firm ERHC plans to conduct seismic surveys or drilling of a well at Block 11A with CEPSA after completing preliminary work on its Turkana block. PHOTO | FILE 

American firm ERHC plans to conduct seismic surveys or drilling of a well at Block 11A with CEPSA after completing preliminary work on its Turkana block.

The activities are expected to take place by the end of 2016.

“Under the second phase of exploration, which lasts a further two years from the end of the first phase, CEPSA Kenya Ltd and ERHC are required to either acquire 3D seismic or proceed directly to drilling one exploration well during the additional two-year exploration period,” said ERHC in a statement to shareholders.

CEPSA, a Spanish firm owned by Abu Dhabi’s sovereign wealth fund, has majority interest in the block and is expected to carry out most of the work.

The firm holds a 55 per cent interest, ERHC 35 per cent while the remaining 10 per cent is owned by the National Oil Corporation of Kenya.

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Filings made by EHRC indicate that under the Production Sharing Contract signed with the government, the operator is supposed to drill at least one well of 3,000 metres and spend not less than $30 million (Sh2.67 billion).

Should seismic studies and drilling go ahead they will mark the first major exploration work by CEPSA which has opted out of a Kisumu block.

READ: Abu Dhabi firm CEPSA quits Kisumu oil exploration
UAE-owned CEPSA contentiously opted out of Block 12B where it had a 25 per cent interest while Swala Energy and Tullow Oil held the balance 75 per cent stake.

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