Kenyans long road in search for crude oil

It is a race against hope as Kenyans wait with bated breath as international oil companies extensively explore the possibility of extracting crude oil from both offshore and territorial wells.

Exploration data shows positives prospects that have been acquired since 1950. It has raised optimism that if the current momentum that is  intense in exploration is sustained, an economic growth will be made.

Petroleum exploration begun as early as 1950s with the first drilling in 1960 by British Petroleum(BP) and Shell exploring in Lamu embayment and ten wells were drilled. None of them was evaluated or completed despite of oils stains and presence of gas.Recently an Australian firm Pancontinental surveyed oil reserves in the Lamu Island .The firm has completed 2D and 3D seismics surveys on Blocks L 10A and L 10B . The firm has been licensed and drilling begins in two years time, that is 2014.

Other international petroleum companies that have showed interest in exploring crude oil in the country are Amoco that tried to drill Eliye spiring-1 and Loperot-1 located west of Lake Turkana and Petro-Canada International Company tried to drill Kencan-1 adjacent to Garissa-1 well in Garissa.

But nine liters of crude oil have ever been extracted at Loperot-1 well according to the existing ‘archived’ reports.Between 1985 and 1990, a group of companies led by Amoco and Total drilled (10) ten wells in wells in Anza and Mandera.

The wells were dry but with indications of oil and gas presence.International firms have since intensified search for oil and gas in kenya .Two firms recently raised hope in Kenya to have gas and oil exploited are; Tullow oil to start drilling process in Loperot-1 about 100 Km from Lodwar, Rift valley province.

The British Tullow oil Kenya says everything is in place to begin drilling the Ngamia-1 well near Lodwar,Turkana County.More than a thousand employees worldwide firm bsaed in London, Chief Excecutive officer,Aidan Heavey says the his firm has hundred major wells to drill in the next three years in South America,Asia and Africa.Although no prove of crude oil reservior in Kenya, the search continue to live and hope always high just in case, to boost the Kenyans struggling economy.

 It will also reduce over-depence on importation of crude oil.Australian firm Pancontinental intensify oil search survey along the coastline.The firm also has interest in extraction of oil in Malta and Namibia. It has recently received licences to initiate drilling in Lamu, according to report by chief executive officer, Barry Rushworth.Kenya has remained a hot spot for international firm oil Corporation despite of unproven oil and gas presences in the country. 

Although signs on the earth Crust indicate it existence.Exploration of crude oil have be left to international company as hopes growth high every year for Kenya to have their own oil.The scramble for oil and gas reservoirs has attracted even mighty French mulch-National Total to unearthed plans to reach for exploitation opportunities along the coastline of Kenya.Already it has establish working projects in West and southern African countries respectively.

Total recently acquired stakes in key blocks off the coast of Lamu,strengthening the return of Giant firm into oil exploration business in Kenya.The managing director  Alexis Vovk is cautious  of the company future in Kenya.” International prices remains volatile  and inefficiencies in the supply chain appear to be worsening by day interfering with the products to consumers,” says Vovk in an interview with Reuters.

The government formed National oil corporation of Kenya(NOCK) became in 1984.One of its major activities has been to spearhead petroleum exploration on behave of the Government.Up to date no commercial discovery of crude oil but exploration continue shading a lot of hopes to Kenya.

The Kenya government entered to a joint venture exploration program with petro-Canada international Assistance corporation in 1986.Seismic work conducted by KenCan-1 but nothing materialized.Laws were revised 1986 on oil exploration and production to provide suitable incentives and flexibility to attract international firms interested in Kenya to exploit the most valuable resource in the world today.

It was a good idea that brightened hopes of Kenyans.NOCK  has been to oversee the fulfillment of petroleum exploration obligations,providing and disseminating data from exploration activities,undertaking various exploration works and manage the storage and disposal on behave of the Government.

In spite of governments efforts no well was found wet up-to-date.The data avail at the center for storage of Seismic data shows that the NOCK has data for seismic survey,well log,well reports,oil exploration reports and aeromagnetic reports.The corporation also has in records on gravity data obtained in the country to date.NOCK has set up core and drill cuttings, storage facilities,rock samples retrieved during exploitation is available in the archive since 1990.

According to the data available on the National oil corporation of Kenya websites shows that the Loperot-1 well  penetrated  a lacustrine source rock with high Total organic Carbon content(TOC) and water was recovered.On a Repeat Formation Test(RFT) from Miocene Sandstone interval waxy was oil discovered in 1990.

 This show there is oil in Kenyan soil but not really exploited.Geological surveys of sediments in the north-eastern Kenya in connexion with search for oil and gas has attracted extensive exploration though no yet oil or gas see-pages.This is according to P.Jouburt, B.sc, a Geologist in the book he authered; ” Geoloy of The Mandera-Damassa area”; Printed in 1960 by Government printer.He further says the extend of the mesozoic sediments which naturally affect chances of discovering oil are important to recognize

.The continuation of  sediments in Ethiopia and the Somalia, and that the sediments of the North-eastern Kenya constitute a small portion of sediments succession.NOCK commissioned the Tertiary Rift Study in August 2000. The study ended in 2001. It led to quantification of potential source and reservoir rock units.The study shows that the areas of oil reserve were found out and Petroleum systems in the sub-basins i.e in Lamu basins.National oil corporation commissioned the Tertiary Rift Study in August 2000.

 The study ended in 2001. It led to quantification of potential source and reservoir rock units.The study shows that the areas of oil reserve were found out and Petroleum systems in the sub-basins i.e in Lamu basins.The organic richness and Petrological characteristics in found out in the prospected fields gives hope for Kenya to have their own oil one day.Different combinations of different sedimentary products on the prospects offshore and onshore indicates presence of Oil and Gas in The Country but the question is why has it taken too long to exploit ?

Patched geographical distribution of Oil and gas deposit throughout Kenya may make it difficult to extract these resources because some well little deposit that would not even cover the cost drilling.

If oil and gas is fully exploited in Kenya, the dreams of becoming a member of Oil Producing Countries be true but will benefits most, is it international firms or Kenyans ?At present Kenya do not have a local firm to exploit oil and gas in Kenya and even Kenyans readiness in terms of Petroleum experts and human resource and capacity may require outsiders.
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