Tullow said it made the discovery at its Ekales-1 wildcat well, a well in an area not known to contain a proven oil field. The company said it encountered a "potential" net oil layer measuring at least 190 feet thick. It said future testing was needed to confirm the productivity potential from the zone.
Tullow said Ekales-1 is its fourth wildcat discovery it's made in northern Kenya since it started drilling in the area in 2012.
"We are now increasing the pace of exploration in Kenya aiming for 12 wells over the next 12 months," Exploration Director Angus McCoss said in a statement.
Tullow operates the area along with its equity partner, Africa Oil Corp.
Africa Oil Corp., which has headquarters in Vancouver, said in May its Etuko prospect onshore Kenya could hold as much as 231 billion barrels of oil.