19 January 2014, Nairobi – BRITISH explorer Tullow Oil has struck more oil in two Turkana wells, a discovery it said has raised the potential of the area to one billion barrel of the precious commodity. Tullow said it has discovered oil at Amosing-1 and Ewoi-1 onshore Kenya and increased discovered resources for the basin to over 600 million barrels of oil (mmbo).
It said on its Twitter handle that the upside potential for the area is now one billion barrels of oil. In a trading statement and operational update, Tullow said its exploration programme added over 200 million barrel of oil equivalent (mmboe) to its contingent resources in 2013 through important wells in Kenya and Norway. The company said it incurred an exploration expenditure of Sh86 billion ($1 billion).
“The announcement also outlines the current ambition of the government of Kenya and partners to reach project sanction in the period 2015/16,” the statement said. The company said it will continue exploration, appraisal and testing activities in three of the ten frontier basins with some 20 exploration and appraisal wells and multiple flow tests planned over the coming 18 months in Kenya and Ethiopia.
“Our exploration successes in Kenya and Norway mean that Tullow is meeting its resource addition targets and expects to deliver in excess of 200 mmboe in 2014,” chief executive Aidan Heavey said in the statement. “We have an exceptional exploration portfolio and will drill over 40 wells in the next 18 months in a wide-ranging campaign .”
The company however announced it will be forced to write off close to Sh62.7 billion ($730 million) in relation to wells that have not been successful. This includes Sh34.8 billion ($405 million) for 2013 exploration losses and Sh27.9 billion ($325 million) in relation to prior years’ exploration expenditure.
Tullow added there have been a number of positive announcements from the governments of Uganda and Kenya regarding joint initiatives for a crude oil pipeline to the Indian Ocean. The firm however repeated calls for cooperation between it and the Kenyan authorities. “Co-operation and agreement with Kenyan government, county government, local leaders and communities (are) vital to our operations,” its official Twitter handle said.
The British company was in late October forced to suspend operations at Block 10BB and Block 13T in Turkana after locals, incited by area politicians, stormed the sites demanding for employment opportunities and supply contracts. The company has however resumed normal operations after signing a returnto- work memorandum with the leaders and the Ministy of energy and petroleum.
*Peter Kiragu, The Star