Oil Firm Triples Oil Prospects for Kenya and Ethiopia

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Turkana Kenya e1341854314574 photo

Tullow’s drilling platform in Turkana, Kenya

Canadian oil exploration company, Africa Oil Corporation has raised fresh hopes that Kenya’s oil find could be commercially viable after the firm tripled its estimates of quantities of oil in blocks it is prospecting.

Africa Oil has reportedly increased its overall prospective resource base to 9.3 billion barrels, up from 3.7 billion barrels it had earlier estimated for its total blocks. The firm has exploration interests in Kenya, Ethiopia and Puntland (Somalia).

Africa Oil has released an updated independent assessment of the Company’s contingent and prospective resources on its Kenyan and Ethiopian exploration properties undertaken by Gaffney, Cline & Associates.

“Gaffney Cline’s independent assessment confirms the enormous resource potential of our enviable East Africa onshore acreage. We are pleased that the investment to date in our aggressive exploration program has yielded these results showing a considerable increase in the prospective resources assigned to a growing number of leads and prospects,” said Keith Hill, Africa Oil’s President and chief executive officer.

Earlier this week, Africa Oil and its partner Tullow Oil plc announced they had begun drilling a well in northwest Kenya- Twiga South-1 exploration well located in onshore Block 13T.

Tullow holds a 50 percent working interest and will be using the Weatherford 804 rig that was used to drill Ngamia-1 where oil was first discovered early this year.

“The Twiga South-1 well represents the next step in expanding the play northward into the Lockichar basin and proving up the ‘string of pearls’ concept along the main basin bounding fault. We also look forward to the arrival of the additional two drilling rigs which will allow us to evaluate whether the Tertiary trend extends into southern Ethiopia and to test the Cretaceous rift in north-central Kenya. We continue to be highly optimistic that the early success we have seen to date will extend into these other areas.” said Hill.

According to Africa Oil, the Ngamia-1 oil discovery has resulted in a considerable increase in the geological chance of success.

“We continue to aggressively explore with three seismic crews active and a continuous drilling program that is expected to have three rigs under contract by the end of 2012. We expect the next 18 months to be transformational for the Company as we will continuously drill high impact exploration targets.” said Hill.

East Africa is set to become a hub for oil and natural gas following recent discoveries in Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania.