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Economy

Kenya shifts oil exploration to Kajiado as search for partner intensifies

MaryJane Mwangi
Nock chief executive MaryJane Mwangi. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

Kenya has shifted oil exploration activity to Kajiado where prospects of striking oil or gas remain high.

National Oil Corporation of Kenya (Nock) plans to drill its oil block in the next two years, hoping to follow in the footsteps of UK’s Tullow and its partners who have since February 2012 encountered oil resource estimated at nearly a billion barrels in Blocks 10BB and 13T in Turkana South.

Other exploratory oil drilling activity has been undertaken at Lamu’s Pate Island at the Coast since April 2018 at a cost of Sh2.5 billion.

Zarara Oil and Gas, the explorer, announced this week that no commercial quality gas was encountered in the blocks L4 and L13.

Nock, which has traditionally concentrated on less-expensive downstream oil business, is seeking a partner to inject cash in drilling in exchange for an undisclosed stake in Block 14T.

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“Drilling wells is a very expensive activity. In addition, it is a very risky business because there are chances of either striking oil and gas or striking nothing,” Nock chief executive MaryJane Mwangi said. “The farm out process is practised globally to share risks and investments.”

2D seismic data

Nock says it has received positive results from the interpretation and integration of its 2D seismic data in the block where it has been undertaking geological and geoscientific studies with its partner, Japan Oil and Gas Metals Company.

The two firms have been sharing operational costs for exploration activities at the block which covers 7,000 square kilometres, stretching to the Tanzanian border.

The successful partner who should show interest by April 2 will play a major role in “identifying more drillable prospects culminating in the drilling of an exploration well within the next two years”.

Nock has owned the block in Magadi area since signing of a Production Sharing Contract (PSC) with the Ministry of Energy in November 2010.

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