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More oil struck in Turkana oil exploration

NAIROBI, Kenya, May 7 – The ongoing oil exploration in Turkana County has yielded an additional 80 meters of oil bearing column at the Ngamia 1 drilling site.

Prime Minister Raila Odinga announced that the explorers from Tullow Oil discovered more oil bearing rock stratum after reaching drilling depth of 1,515 meters earlier on Monday morning.

He said a total of 100 meters of oil reservoir has so far been discovered at the Ngamia 1 site after another 20 meters of net oil pay was found earlier.

“The well which has now deepened from 1,041m to 1,515m was found with good quality oil bearing reservoirs with a total pay count of at least 100m has been determined over a gross oil bearing interval of 650 meters,” Odinga announced.

He however told a press conference at his office that the commercial viability of the find was yet to be established but said samples from the well indicated that the quality of the Turkana oil was better than those recently discovered in Uganda and Ghana.

“Whereas we are very encouraged by the results, it is far too early to speculate on the potential viability of Ngamia 1 or the basin as a whole,” the PM said.

The premier said plans to undertake more exploration ventures at Twiga 1 drilling site within the county and another at Paipai well in Marsabit County were underway to establish the extent of the oil deposit in Northern Kenya.

He said the results of findings from the proposed additional exploration sites were expected to come out within the third quarter of the year but stressed on the government’s commitment to undertake the activities in a socially and environmentally responsible manner.

Odinga said the government was working on modalities to review and streamline relevant policies to conform to the best international practice and align with the new constitutional dispensation.

“On the regulatory front, the government has an important role to play in establishing policy framework which will support the development and the growth of the sector in a transparent and accountable manner,” he said.

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The premier at the same time dispelled fears that the oil find could turn out to be a curse rather than a blessing and assured that the government will ensure that nation gained positively from the expected proceeds.

He also announced plans to engage the host communities in all aspects of the project to bridge the gap between key stakeholders and the general public to avert negative speculation.

Others present during the press conference were Energy Minister Kiraitu Murungi, his regional Development counterpart Fred Gumo and assistant ministers Mohamud Mohamed, Magerer Langat, and Josephat Nanok.

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