Kenya launches offshore Oil exploration in the Coast
The Ministry of Petroleum and Mining has commissioned an International Company to commence offshore oil exploration in the Kenyan Coast after seismic research which revealed that the area has got potential oil wells.
Making the announcement, The Commissioner for Petrolum James Ng’ang’a said that the contract for offshore drilling oil exploration activities in Lamu basin has been signed with ENI Kenya Business Venture (BV) formerly Agip.
Mr. Ng’ang’a further said that the contract entails drilling of an exploration well in an area dubbed Mlima Prospect in Block L11B which is an ultra-deep water, approximately 2560 Metres see depth located in the Lamu basin, 170Km from the Kenyan Coast which is about 200Km from the Comarco operating base in Mombasa.
The Commissioner added that, the well is projected to be a vertical bore hole which will be drilled with the Saipem 12000 drilling ship.
He further explained that the offshore drilling commenced on December 15th last year and expected to last for a period of 60 days.
“The spudding of the well was conducted on December 28th 2021 and is expected to last for two months”, Mr. Ng’ang’a revealed.
He said that Petroleum officers from the Directorate of Petroleum and National Oil Cooperation of Kenya (NOCK) will be attached to the drilling exercise on rotational basis together with ENI to actualize the project.
Eni Kenya B.V. is a company licensed by the Government of Kenya to carry out exploration activities offshore Lamu Basin.
The Company, Ng’ang’a added that, is a partner to the joint venture in offshore blocksL11, L11B and L12 ( Blocks) together with TotalEnergies, E and P Kenya B.V. and Qatar Petrolum International Upstream LLC.
“At the end of the drilling and mining assessment at the Mlima-1 well, and in accordance with all applicable laws and regulations there shall be a Temporary Well suspension in case of discovery or permanent well abandonment incase of dry well”, He noted.
Mr Nga’ng’a said the offshore oil exploration comes hot on the heels of the deployment of a team of Petroleum officers mid last year to undertake a preliminary mapping for prospective oil and off shore gas deposits in the Lamu Basin.
This Basin, Ng’ang’a noted, stretches from the Kenya Somali border to the border with Tanzania.
Mr. Ng’ang’a further said that most oil and gas blocks are open so it was imperative for the Ministry to generate data on availability of these deposits to attract investors which will in long run benefit the community through Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR).