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 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. The current phase of exploration and appraisal drilling in the South Lokichar Basin has been concluded and the focus is now on the Early Oil Pilot Scheme (EOPS) and the development of the discovered resources.

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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 

Activity is moving to focus on collecting further dynamic data from the fields. As part of EOPS extended production, water injection testing and a waterflood pilot test utilising the Ngamia-11 well are planned for the first half of 2018.  Produced oil will initially be stored, until all work is completed and necessary consents and approvals granted for the transfer of crude oil to Mombasa by road.

Tullow is now reviewing all the data from the South Lokichar basin and in the first quarter of 2018 intends to give its assessment of Contingent Resources and plans for developing the basin.

A Joint Development Agreement (JDA), setting out a structure for the Government of Kenya and the Kenya Joint Venture Partners to progress the development of the export pipeline, was signed on 25 October 2017. The JDA allows important studies to commence such as FEED, Environmental and Social Impact Assessments (ESIA), as well as studies on pipeline financing and ownership. Upstream FEED and ESIAs are expected to commence in the first quarter of 2018. 

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.

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Page last updated: 09 November 2017