Kenya Stays Focused On Expanding Oil Chase - kenyadetails

Kenya Stays Focused On Expanding Oil Chase

Kenya is shifting to conduct geological tests in search of oil and gas in the shallow offshore area of the coastal Lamu basin as the country progresses to becoming an oil state.

The Ministry of Petroleum has opened up the bidding window for firms to tender their interest in conducting 3D seismic survey over the shallow water of the Lamu basin “for purposes of promoting the area for petroleum exploration and development.”

Seismic tests, which could be likened to geological x-ray, involve picking surface vibrations to reveal the underneath rock formations holding oil or gas. The area subject to the tests in the Indian Ocean has an estimated aerial coverage of 32,000 square kilometres.

The State’s offshore oil hunt signals a renewed drive for more discoveries following a series of oil finds in northern Kenya, Lokichar basin.

It, however, comes on the back of a setback suffered by Zarara Oil and Gas Limited which recently struck dry wells in search of natural gas on Lamu’s Pate Island. Zarara is subsidiary of Midway Resources International registered in Cayman Islands and had sunk Sh2.5 billion in the exploration exercise, translating to sunk costs.

The Petroleum ministry says in a notice that the contracted bidding firm (s) will be expected to gather additional 3D seismic data on top of what is currently available and process it to create data profiles. The firm will equally reprocess the existing 3D data to derive additional data products or volumes and offer support to the ministry in planning and organising a licensing round for the block scheduled for 2021.

Other tasks would be to interpret historic and newly acquired 3D seismic data and integrate it with other datasets, as well as ensure skills exchange among ministry and National Oil staff on acquisition, processing and interpretation of 3D data, including economic modelling.

Lastly, the contracted firm will assist in activating the proposed upgrade of the existing National Petroleum Data Centre system as a platform for data marketing.

British explorer Tullow struck Kenya’s first oil in Turkana’s Lokichar basin in northwest Kenya in 2012 and followed it with a string of other finds. This has put the country on the path to becoming a producer of the black gold.

So far, some 750 million barrels of recoverable oil has been struck with further expeditions ongoing, an exercise that looks set to yield over 1 billion barrels of crude. Exports are yet to commence.