Kenya Flag of Kenya

Last updated: 12 Feb 2014

Key statistics

2013 Exploration and appraisal wells 2013 Success rate
4 75%

This East African Rift Basin acreage in Kenya and Ethiopia shares many geological attributes with Tullow's Lake Albert Rift Basin position in Uganda. The acreage, which is located 500 km to the east of Lake Albert has good evidence of a live oil system. The Loperot-1 well drilled in 1992 recovered 29 degree API waxy crude from Miocene sandstones.

The first well in the basin, Ngamia-1, in Block 10BB, commenced drilling in January 2012 and discovered over 200 metres of net oil pay. This significant exploration result demonstrates that substantial oil generation has occurred in the South Lokichar Basin, which is one of 11 tertiary rift basins in Tullow's Kenya-Ethiopia acreage, each of which is similar in magnitude to the Lake Albert Rift Basin in Uganda. The second well, Twiga South-1, also made a major discovery in this frontier basin swiftly followed by further successes at Etuko-1 and Ekales-1. Tullow has made three further discoveries in the basin to date resulting in discovered PMean resources of over 600mmbo with the basin having a potential of well in excess of 1 billion barrels of oil. Tullow now expects to drill some 40 wells in Kenya and Ethiopia over the coming 24 months.

Whilst the Ngamia discovery has exceeded expectations and substantially de-risks further prospects in the South Lokichar Basin, it will require more exploration and appraisal activity to be completed before commerciality can be declared. Testing of the Ngamia-1 and Twiga South-1 wells has successfully been carried out. Analysis of the test data from both wells has resulted in the doubling of our previous estimates of net oil pay to 200 metres and 75 metres respectively, an optimised flow rate potential of around 5,000 bopd per well and significantly increased discovered volumes. The combined mean associated resources for the two discoveries is now estimated to be over 250 mmbo with the potential to increase further following appraisal.

A Full Tensor Gradiometry (FTG) Gravity Survey has been completed across most of the Kenya-Ethiopia licence blocks, an area of around 100,000 sq km. Over 100 leads and prospects have been identified in the 11 basins. Additional 2D and 3D seismic data will be acquired for a planned accelerated exploration campaign, which started with the 4,500 metre deep Paipai-1 well in Block 10A which was logged in February 2013 having encountered light hydrocarbon shows whilst drilling through a 55 metre thick gross sandstone interval. The licence, which contains a different play to the Tertiary Rift Basin of South Lokichar, has subsequently been relinquished.

Tullow is currently operating three rigs, the PR Marriott 46, Weatherford 804 and Sakson PR5 rigs and a workover unit, the SMP-5.

Given the significant volumes discovered and the extensive exploration, appraisal and seismic programme planned to fully assess the upside potential of the South Lokichar Basin, Tullow and its partner have agreed with the Government of Kenya to commence development studies. In addition, the partnership is involved in a comprehensive pre-FEED study for an export pipeline. The current ambition of the Government of Kenya and the joint venture partnership is to reach project sanction for development, including an export pipeline, in 2015/2016. If further exploration success opens additional basins there will be scope for the development to be expanded.

In offshore Kenya Block L8, the Mbawa-1 exploration well result was announced in September 2012 after encountering approximately 52 metres of net gas pay in the shallower primary target. Tullow had a 15% interest in the licence, targeting a separate Transform Margin Play, but the licence was relinquished in January 2014.

18 month Exploration & Appraisal Programme