Kenya lists offshore block octet

17 March 2012, Sweetcrude, Nairobi – Kenya has moved a step closer to dishing out exploration licences for eight offshore blocks after they were listed in government literature on Friday.

The eight blocks, which have attracted interest from large oil and gas players, have now been marked out, according to a Reuters report.

It had been expected that the blocks would be listed in the Kenya Gazette in February but this move suffered delays as the blocks were being marked out.

“The survey kept making mistakes. We corrected them … it’s not a small exercise. Now, they are ready,” Martin Heya, the commissioner of petroleum at the energy ministry, told Reuters.

“The blocks have been taken to the printer,” Heya continued.

This brings to 17 the number of blocks available for exploration in Kenya.

The blocks cover areas of between 10,000 and 15,000 square kilometres in water depths of 2600 to 4000 metres, Reuters reported.

Kenya like other countries in East Africa, such as Tanzania and Mozambique, is attracting much interest from oil companies in its nascent offshore exploration and production industry.

In early February Total signed a heads of agreement with Kenya’s Energy Ministry to licence a block ahead of formal gazetting.

Total is focusing on Lamu basin Block L-22, a senior ministry official said at the time.

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