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Tullow strikes more oil in latest Turkana find

Samples of Tullow’s crude oil from its Turkana oil fields. The new finds come at a time when the firm is preparing to start production on a pilot basis. [File, Standard]

Tullow Oil Wednesday  said it had discovered more oil in Turkana County after drilling two news wells since January.

The latest development is likely to push up the estimated recoverable oil from the South Lokichar basin.

The company said yesterday the two wells had encountered oil and gas finds, but did not disclose the volumes, only saying it would follow up with more details after it has concluded tests on the wells.

Currently, the South Lokichar area is estimated to have 750 million barrels of recoverable oil, with further testing by Tullow Oil and its joint venture partners – Africa Oil and Maersk Oil – expected to push the recoverable resources to upwards of a billion barrels of oil. The firm drilled the Amosing 6 and Ngamia 10 wells over the last four months, which it said had signs of oil and gas. The two are in addition to Erut 1 drilled in December.

“Following the drilling of the successful Erut -1 exploration well, which extended the proven oil limits to the northernmost end of the South Lokichar basin, Amosing-6 encountered gas and oil shows and Ngamia-10 encountered stacked oil bearing sands,” said Tullow in an operational update yesterday. Tullow added that it would extend the drilling campaign by another three wells in the course of this year, with plans to explore further the Greater Etom Complex besides testing an undrilled fault block adjacent to the Ekales field and driling the Ngamia-11 well.

The firm, the Government and its partners in the Turkana oil project, is currently preparing to start oil production and export on a pilot basis through the Early Oil Pilot Scheme (EOPS).

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Rights issue

The joint venture partners signed an agreement with the Government in March, giving the firms the go ahead to start production and export.

Tullow is currently in the process of selecting a company that will transport crude by road using specialised containers from Turkana to Mombasa, initially moving 60,000 barrels of crude that have already been produced and being held in tanks in Lokichar.

The firm has also concluded a rights issue and raised $750 million (Sh75 billion). Part of the proceeds are expected to be invested in Kenya to undertake further exploratory drilling as well as prepare for the commercial oil production.

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