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East Africa may be next oil, gas bright spot

Oct. 10, 2013 at 7:10 AM

LONDON, Oct. 10 (UPI) -- New investments in the natural resource sector in East African countries should translate to a massive increase in oil and gas production, Wood Mackenzie said.

Martin Kelly, director of upstream research in East Africa for the energy analysis company, said the next year should bring major advances to the region's oil and natural gas sector.

Kenya is expected to be one of the bright spots in the region. Africa Oil Corp., which has headquarters in Vancouver, said this year its Etuko prospect in Kenya could hold as much as 231 billion barrels of oil.

"Overall, the outlook for East Africa is a positive one, with a great deal of upstream activity over the next year or so," Kelly was quoted by energy news website Rigzone as saying Wednesday from London.

He said complementary developments in Tanzania, Mozambique and Uganda could translate to a production increase from the current rate of 500,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day to 1.5 million barrels of oil equivalent.

"Upstream capital investment in East Africa has averaged about $1 billion a year since 2010, excluding exploration investment," he said. "As these discoveries are developed, we expect to see levels of investment grow at an average of around 60 percent per year until 2018."

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