, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 31- Oil exploration firm Tullow has announced discovery of more oil deposits, after 50 metres of exploration at the Etuko-1 well on Block 10BB in Lokichar basin, in Turkana County.
This is in addition to the over 40 metres of oil deposits confirmed in the shallower Auwerwer and Upper Lokhone reservoirs previously announced at the well.
The firm says the deposits at Etuko-1 well will be included in a programme of flow testing later this year, to determine their production potential.
“Major exploration success continues in Kenya and Etuko-1 discovery, basin volumes exceed threshold for development studies to commence,” the company said while announcing its 2013 half year results.
In May this year, drilling commenced on the Etuko prospect, 14 kilometres east of Twiga South-1 and this is the first test of the well.
“Although the Lower Lokhone sands have been established to be poorer quality than the main objectives in the Auwerwer and Upper Lokhone, we have successfully flowed oil from this interval at Ngamia,” Tullow said.
Once operations at Etuko-1 are complete, the rig will move to the Agete prospect north of Twiga-South.
“At the moment, we have drilled three successful exploration wells in the South Lokichar Basin and successfully tested two of these wells including Ngamia-1 and Twiga-1. These results lead us to believe that we have approached a level of reserves that enables us to start to consider a range of future development options,” the firm clarified.
Tullow maintained that commercial viability of the deposits from the wells is yet to be confirmed as tests are still going on.
“It is important to note that a declaration of commerciality is a critical step in the life-cycle of an oil and gas development and it is unlikely that any such declaration would be made until many more wells have been drilled and a better understanding of the basin potential has been gathered.”
However the new development increases hopes for Kenya to soon become a petroleum producer and exporter.