East Africa


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About Tullow in Kenya

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Tullow has a track record of discovering significant oil resources in East Africa. The Group first started exploring in Uganda in 2006, successfully opening the Lake Albert Rift Basin, which has discovered resources of some 1.7 billion barrels of oil. Tullow has taken its knowledge and understanding of the geology in Uganda across into neighbouring Kenya. Since 2012, Tullow’s successful exploration and appraisal drilling campaigns in Kenya have resulted in the opening of a second new tertiary rift play in the South Lokichar Basin. An accelerated exploration and appraisal campaign was completed in the basin and initial assessment indicates recoverable resources of up to 750 million barrels of oil. The Group re-started exploration in the basin in December 2016 to de-risk resources found to date and target the overall upside potential of 1 billion barrels.

The first well in this campaign, the Erut-1 well in Block 13T, Northern Kenya, discovered a gross oil interval of 55 metres with 25 metres of net oil pay at a depth of 700 metres. The result shows that oil has migrated to the northern limit of the South Lokichar basin and has de-risked multiple prospects in this area which will now be considered in the Partnership’s future exploration and appraisal drilling programme.


The Ngamia-1 exploration well in Kenya marked the start of a significant programme of drilling activities across the acreage. In 2012, the Ngamia-1 well successfully encountered over 200 metres of net oil pay, the second East Africa onshore tertiary rift basin opened by Tullow. This has since been followed by further exploration success in the South Lokichar Basin at the Ngamia, Twiga, Etuko, Ekales-1, Agete, Amosing, Ewoi, Ekunyuk, Etom, Erut and Emekuya oil accumulations. Tullow has a number leads and prospects yet to drill which will target upside in the South Lokichar Basin as well as new basins across its acreage.

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Kenya profile

Our operational activities, economic contribution and how we are playing a role in the country’s social and economic development.

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Development planning 

In addition to the drilling and operational activities to support FID for the Kenya Full Field Development, engineering studies and contracting activities are under way in preparation for the start of FEED, which is expected to commence in late 2017. In parallel to the upstream development work, the Joint Venture Partners and the Government of Kenya continue to progress commercial and finance studies for the proposed export pipeline, and preparations are under way for the Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA).

The EOPS Agreement between the Joint Venture Partners and the Government of Kenya was signed on 14 March 2017 allowing all EOPS upstream contracts to be awarded. The first stage of the EOPS will be the evacuation of the stored crude oil, which was produced during extended well testing in 2015, to Mombasa by road. This will be followed by an extended water flood pilot test in Ngamia and EOPS production of 2,000 bopd which is expected to commence in late 2017. Results from the Ngamia water-flood pilot will assess sustainable production levels to inform the overall resource and Full Field Development Plan. 

Our history in Kenya

Tullow entered Kenya in 2010, after signing agreements with Africa Oil and Centric Energy to gain a 50% operated interest in five onshore licences; 10BA, 10BB, 10A, 12A and 13T. In 2012, Tullow farmed in to onshore Block 12B with 50% and increased its interest in Block 12A to 65%. Since then our interest in Block 10A has been relinquished and in October 2015, Tullow farmed-out 25% of its interest in Block 12A to Delonex.

tullow's key milestones in kenya

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Page last updated: 28 June 2017