US Firm Starts Oil Exploration Off Kenyan Coast
From Business Daily
Anadarko Petroleum Corporation, a US firm, has started exploring for oil and gas off the Kenyan coast in Lamu.
The New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) listed firm plans to drill two wells, continuing Kenya’s surge of exploration activity.
“Anadarko has told us they were to spud the well yesterday (Thursday),” said Martin Heya, commissioner for petroleum at the Energy ministry.
The two wells, known as the Kiboko prospect in block L11B and the Kubwa prospect in block L7, will cost about Sh8.6 billion ($100 million) each.
The firm is the operator of blocks L7 and L11B and holds 45 per cent stake in each.
French oil major Total has a 40 per cent stake, and UK’s oil and gas company Cove Energy (recently acquired by Thailand’s Exploration and Production company) holds the remaining stake.
The Kiboko and Kubwa prospects will be Anadarko’s first wells in Kenya and follows significant gas discoveries offshore Mozambique early last year.
Anadarko will be utilising some of the equipment used by US explorer Apache Corporation which drilled a well offshore earlier this year.
Apache’s well, known as Mbawa-1, encountered small, non-commercial quantities of gas instead of oil.
Anadarko which will drill Kiboko first has said it hopes to find oil, rather than gas, because it is cheaper and easier to produce.
The wells will be drilled to a total depth of 6,750 meters.
The US prospecting firm has also mobilised a drilling rig from its Mozambican operations, Mr Heya said.
The Ministry of Energy expects to drill at least 12 more wells onshore and offshore this year as Kenya aims to stake a bigger claim on profits from its natural resources exploration boom.
Anadarko’s vice-president for International Exploration, Frank Patterson recently said two three-dimensional surveys have been acquired and have already been processed “two months earlier than expected.”
“Drilling was dependent on rig availability,” he said.
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