Kenya discovers more oil reservesBy CHARLES OMONDI and PMPS | Monday, May 7 2012 at 17:57
Kenya's Prime Minister Raila Odinga has announced the discovery of more oil reserves in the country's Turkana County.
Mr Odinga said an additional 80m of oil bearing column had been found at the Ngamia -1 drilling site.
The explorers (Tullow), said the Prime Minister in a statement to media houses, discovered more oil bearing rock stratum after reaching drilling depth of 1,515m earlier Monday morning.
He said a total of 100m of oil reservoir had so far been discovered at the Ngamia -1 site after another 20m of net oil pay was found earlier this year.
“The well has now deepened from 1,041 m to 1,515m and was found with good quality oil bearing reservoirs. A total pay count of at least 100m has been determined over a gross oil bearing interval of 650 meters,” the Premier announced.
He, however, told a press conference at his office that the commercial viability of the find was yet to be established, but pointed out that samples from the well indicated that the quality of the Turkana oil was better than those recently discovered in Uganda and Ghana.
Mr Odinga said; “whereas we are very encouraged by the results, it is far too early to speculate on the potential viability of Ngamia -1 or the basin as a whole”.
The Premier said plans to undertake more exploration ventures at Twiga -1 drilling site and another at Paipai well in Marsabit County were underway.
He said the results of findings from the proposed additional exploration sites were expected within the third quarter of the year, but stressed on the government’s commitment to undertake the activities in a socially and environmentally responsible manner.
The government, Mr Odinga said, was working on modalities to review and streamline relevant policies to conform to the best international practice and align with the new constitutional dispensation.
“On regulatory front, the government has an important role to play in establishing policy framework which will support the development and the growth of the sector in a transparent and accountable manner,” he said.
The Premier, at the same time, dispelled fears that the oil find could turn out to be a curse rather than a blessing and assured that the government would ensure that nation gained positively from the expected proceeds.
He also announced plans to engage the host communities in all aspects of the project to bridge the gap between key stakeholders and the general public to avert negative speculation.
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