Kenya expects its estimate of oil resources to almost double to 1 billion barrels as well-drilling climbs and the government forges ahead with plans to build an export pipeline, an energy ministry official said.
Tullow Oil Plc. (TLW) and its partner Africa Oil Corp. (AOI) have discovered an estimated 600 million barrels of oil in the South Lokichar Basin since announcing the country’s first crude find in March 2012. The discovery has spurred the East African nation to accelerate infrastructure-development plans, including construction of an oil pipeline that will link Uganda to a planned port in the Kenyan coastal town of Lamu.
Initial data acquired from northern Kenya indicates the figure for estimated oil resources is set to rise with increased drilling, said Petroleum Commissioner Martin Heya.
“Most licenses will move to the drilling stage next year because that is when their initial license period of two to three years starts to expire,” Heya said in a Sept. 16 interview in the capital, Nairobi. “They usually use the initial phase for data collection” and spend the second stage conducting exploration drilling, he said.
Kenya has licensed 41 out of its 46 oil and gas blocks to 21 companies including BG Group Plc (BG/), Eni SpA (ENI), Anadarko Petroleum Corp. (APC) and Total SA (FP), said Heya. The country may start producing oil at the end of the decade, as it aims for quicker production of natural gas to first meet domestic power-generation needs before any surplus supplies can be exported, President Uhuru Kenyatta said in an interview Aug. 2.
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