Oil found in northern Kenya

Tullow Oil announces new discovery in an area already thought to hold more than 750 million barrels of oil.
By Daniel J. Graeber Follow @dan_graeber Contact the Author   |   May 17, 2017 at 6:17 AM

May 17 (UPI) -- Africa-focused energy company Tullow Oil said Wednesday it made an oil discovery in a region of Kenya thought to contain at least 750 million barrels of oil.

Tullow said it ran through a net column of 246 feet of oil in Kenya while drilling its Emekuya-1 well in the northern section of the South Lokichar basin. Exploration Director Angus McCoss said in a statement the discovery was a significant component of the company's regional portfolio given the extent of the reservoir.

"We now look forward to the remainder of the Kenya exploration and appraisal campaign in support of the ongoing work to prepare this important asset for full field development," he said.

Tullow is a partner with African Oil Corp. and Maersk Oil on the project.

Africa Oil Corp. reported last year that an independent review of its reserves in the South Lokichar basin revealed an estimated gross of 766 million barrels of oil, a 24 percent increase from the previous estimate. In a nearby basin, Tullow last year made its most significant regional discovery in a reserve area not previously known to hold oil.

Kenya aims to build a crude oil pipeline to the coast with the help of Tullow Oil and its partners. Studies on engineering and development of that pipeline were expected at some point during the first half of the year.

Tullow last year was plagued by equipment and legal issues at some of its prime holdings in Africa. The compounding strains of lower crude oil prices in 2016 forced the company to cut its spending plans. Full-year 2016 revenue of $1.3 billion was 21 percent lower year-over-year, though its losses improved considerably over 2015.

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