Successful oil discoveries in Kenya should be good news for Ethiopia given their geographical similarity, experts said. London based Tullow Oil, first found oil in Uganda’s Lake Albert Rift Basin and then extended its exploration to the East African Rift Basins of Kenya and Ethiopia in 2010.
The third quarter of 2012 will see Ethiopia’s first well drilled by Tullow after two previous wells were drilled in Kenya. The company’s exploration area is the South Omo block, south western part of the country in the Great Rift Valley. The Tullow Ethiopian office expert said, “It is highly likely the first well shall be drilled in September.”
Early last week the company announced the Ngamia-1 exploration (Kenya) has found over 20 meters of oil.
The well, located in Turkana County of Kenya Block 10BB, was drilled to an intermediate depth of 1,041 meters and has been successfully logged and sampled. Moveable oil with an API greater than 30 degrees has been recovered to the surface, according to the company.
“This oil has similar properties to the light waxy crude discovered in Uganda,” the statement clarified.
The combined acreage covers the Turkana Rift Basin which is similar in character to the Lake Albert Rift Basin and also a south-east extension of the geologically older South Sudan rift basin’s trend.
In 2010, Tullow signed an agreement with Canadian oil company, Africa Oil; to gain a 50 percent operation interest in the South Omo Block in Ethiopia. This has been complemented by the 50 percent operation interests in five adjacent Kenyan licensed areas. The Ethiopian side detailed oil exploration began a year after the Kenyan started.
The company statement indicated that the Ngamia structure is the first prospect to be tested as part of a multi-well drilling campaign in Kenya and Ethiopia. Many leads and prospects similar to Ngamia have been identified and following this discovery the outlook for further success has significantly improved.
The well will now be drilled to a depth of approximately 2,700 meters to explore for deeper potential. According to the oil company expert, the exact amount of the oil deposit will be identified after this deep drilling.
Tullow has a 50 percent operated interest in multiple licenses in the Kenya & Ethiopia Rift Basins covering in excess of 100,000 square kilometers.
The Turkana County, where the Ngamia discovery has been made, is one of seven basins mapped in Tullow’s acreage and is similar in size to the 9,000sqm Lake Albert Rift basin in Uganda.
In 2010 Vancouver based Africa Oil, bought exploration areas in Ogaden basin, Kenya and Puntland. These concessions were previously held by Lundin Petroleum, the Swedish petroleum company. Recently the company has successfully accomplished its exploration in Puntland, part of the former Somalia, which is now a peaceful and independent state although it is not internationally recognized.