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Tullow set to release oil production plan

Oil exploration in South Lokichar basin. FILE PHOTO | NMG
Oil exploration in South Lokichar basin. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

Tullow Oil will present detailed assessment of discovered hydrocarbon resources and plans for development of the South Lokichar basin early next month as it targets increased production by the end of March.

The company Wednesday said in a trading update that it had concluded the recent exploration and appraisal of drilling in the basin.

This comes after the Ministry of Energy said it intends to resume small-scale oil exports after suspending the plan last June. The announcement also comes after the company raised Sh258 billion ($2.5 billion) to help fund its operations in Africa.

“Tullow intends to give its assessment of discovered resources and plans for development of the South Lokichar basin at its full-year results on February 7, 2018,” the company said in the update.

Tullow Oil said the environmental and social impact assessment (ESIA) for the overall field development is on track to commence later in the first quarter of this year.

Following conclusion of the exploration and drilling phase, the company said it is ready for production by the end of quarter one.

By June last year, the firm had pumped and stored 60,000 barrels of oil, pending the firming up of the export plans by the government.

“In Kenya, the recent phase of exploration and appraisal drilling in the South Lokichar Basin has been concluded and the focus is now on the Early Oil Pilot Scheme (EOPS) and the overall development plan for the discovered resources,” said Tullow Oil in the update to the markets.

The South Lokichar basin has over 30 exploration and appraisal wells drilled, according to information on the website of the National Oil Company of Kenya.

“Work is already under way on the EOPS, with initial injectivity testing commencing on Ngamia-11 and oil production and water injection facilities being constructed in the field ready to commence production/injection in the first quarter of 2018,” said Tullow in the update.

It added that oil produced will continue to be stored until all necessary consents and approvals are granted and work is completed for the transfer of crude oil to Mombasa by road.

“Significant progress on the field development plan continues to be made and following the extended election period, Tullow has re-engaged with representatives of the Government of Kenya on the overall approach and timelines for progressing the development,” said the company.