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No luck in drilling for oil and gas in Kenya

Tullow Oil said it found no commercial prospects in frontier development.

By Daniel J. Graeber
No luck in drilling for oil and gas in Kenya
Tullow Oil said it found no commercial prospects in frontier basin in northern Kenya despite earlier optimism and results. Photo courtesy of Tullow Oil

LONDON, Nov. 17 (UPI) -- Despite earlier optimism about the reserve potential in frontier African oil and gas basins, Tullow Oil said it came up empty handed in its efforts in Kenya.

Tullow, which has headquarters in London, said it didn't find any hydrocarbons worth exploring further at a frontier, or wildcat, well in northern Kenya.

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"While this wildcat well did not find commercial hydrocarbons, it provides valuable data as we assess the wider prospectivity of this basin," Angus McCoss, the company's exploration director, said in a statement.

Tullow is placing bets on emerging basins in Africa, notably offshore developments in Ghana. Like its peers, the company said it's been a "difficult year" for energy companies working through a period of historically low oil prices.

The company in its third quarter statement said capital spending for 2016 would be around $1.2 billion, about 35 percent lower than this year. Lower spending, meanwhile, means greater collaboration among energy companies.

In a deal with Africa Oil Corp., Danish company Maersk Oil paid about $365 upfront to cover exploration costs in northern Kenya and Ethiopia.

Africa Oil has teamed up with Tullow in the discovery of more than 600 million barrels of oil.

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