Africa Oil reduces well drilling time in Kenya as costs increase

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Africa oil will in 2014 shift to synthetic based muds in well drilling in Kenya as the company drives at cutting down well drilling durations.

The synthetic based muds are a move from Smectile clays which the company in a corporate presentation released earlier this month shows cause hole problems with water based drilling muds.

Since the drilling on Ngamia 1 in 2012 Africa Oil partner Tullow Oil has cut drilling time by more than 70 percent with the latest well the Ewoi-1 having taken just 20 days for every 1000 meters mark as compared to Ngamia that took 70 days per 1000 meters.

Other than cutting costs using more efficient drilling methods the company says it is also improving its contracts that could lead in a 25 percent reduction as well as reduced rig move durations and testing offline with more cost efficient test rig.

Africa Oil says additional rig move, civil engineering and logistical costs have shot up to a range of $25mm to $30mm untested from that of South Lokichar wells now running at $15mm to $20mm untested.

In the western show of lake Turkana Africa Oil says that it plans to drill 2 wells in Kiboko and Samaki at Block 10BA following the confirmation of a large prospect inventory in the latest seismic.

The company also plans to drill another 2 wells in the South Kerio basin located in block 10BB where seismic identifies Ngamia style play.

Further East at the Anza basin (Block 9) Africa oil plans to spud Sala which it says has a potential to extend the Sudan play into Kenya.

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