Kenya’s Onshore Upstream Sector Set to Pick Up in 2017

Upstream activity in Kenya is expected to re-surge after hitting a low in 2016 in the backdrop of low oil prices that shut down offshore activity and left the onshore well drilling to the lowest since 2012.

According to analysis carried out by OilNews Kenya activity is expected to pick up in Blocks in the tertiary rift namely 10BB, 13T, 11A, 12B, 12A and 14T Block 2A in the Mandera basin as well as those in the Lamu basin namely Blocks L19 and L4.Among the companies involved include: Tullow Oil, Africa Oil, Maesrk Oil and Gas, Delonex Energy, Swala Energy, National Oil Corporation, Simba Energy, Essel Energy, Rift Energy and Zarara Oil and Gas.

                                                           Tertiary Rift

Block 10BB, 13T

As per presentations by joint venture partners Tullow Oil and Africa Oil there will be renewed activity in Kenya’s Blocks 10BB and 13T with 2-4 Potential basin-openers as well as 4-8 Appraisal and exploration drilling targets in the pipeline. Already the drilling of Erut-1 well has commenced with the Etete prospect expected to be next in line and which will test the southern side of the ‘Etom Complex’. Other planned wells include the West Etom prospect and Agete South East.

Other potential near basin openers include: Tulya, Thilli, Linga, or Lukwa Prospects in the South Kerio basin (Block 10BB) and North Samaki & Kifaru Prospects in North Turkana ‘Turkana Lake Basin’ (Block 10BA).

Oil Pipeline

A Joint Development Agreement (JDA) setting out a structure for the Government of Kenya and the Kenya Joint Venture Partners (Tullow Oil, Maersk Oil, Africa Oil) is also expected to progress the development of the export pipeline is also expected to commence in 2017.

Early Oil Pilot Scheme

The two joint venture partners will also start the evacuation of about 70,000 barrels at the Ngamia and Amosing fields that was extracted during the extensive well testing programme as part of the early oil pilot scheme expected to commence in March kickstarting Kenya’s long journey to oil exportation.

Block 12A, 12B

In the adjacent Blocks 12A and 12B where Tullow Oil, Africa Oil and Delonex Energy are joint venture partners 2017 is expected to see the processing of Full-Tensor Gravity (FTG) surveys over the Nyanza Graben and the Kerio Basin.

Block 12A which saw its first wildcat well in 2016  is expected to see renewed activity with  the Full-Tensor Gravity (FTG) survey expected to provide further data on this prospective area where the JV partners drilled  the basin opening Cheptuket-1 well in the Kerio Valley Basin.

According to Swala Energy the government of Kenya approved a new work programme submitted by the explorers involving carrying out a Full-Tensor Gravity (“FTG”) Survey over the block to optimise the location of the exploration well and thereby maximize its chances of success. The partners have until 16th of August 2017 within which to drill the 12B exploration well with Ahero-A provisionally identified as a potential drilling target.

Block 11A

In Block 11A it is rumored that CEPSA is considering proceeding to the Egole-1 well after completing the Tarach-1 well in 2016. Egole-1 a four-way rollover closure onto a Northwest – Southeast trending fault plain with mean prospective resources of 101 million barrels another of 13 drillable prospects will hope to better the  success of Tarach-1 well which encountered two different hydrocarbon charged intervals, the first extending over 100 meters.An agreement between ERHC and CEPSA focused on the Spanish explorer’s continued participation where ‘significant hydrocarbons’ were encountered.

Block 14T

Further south national oil corporation of Kenya (NOCK) will be seeking to drill its first well in history in 2017 in Block 14T where the company has been involved in the acquisition of seismic. Already a MoU with the state agency Geothermal Development Company and NOCK has been signed where GDC will offer National Oil drilling equipment as well as related specialized drilling services. Specifically, GDC will provide National Oil with one deep-drilling rig and personnel.

                                                     Anza/Mandera Basin

Block 2A

In Block 2A (which overlies the southern tip of the Mandera Basin while the southwest corner of the block extends into the Anza Basin) Simba Energy and Essel Energy have announced their intention to drill a well in 2017 following the acquisition of 2D seismic in late 2016. JV partner Essel in August announced it had entered into a definitive agreement to acquire a new skid mounted drilling rig as it prepares to drill in the license. Essel Group said that DNV GL, the world-leading classification society and risk management Company, has been appointed as a third party observer to oversee the purchase and the delivery of the AC-VFD drilling rig.

                                                     Lamu Basin

Block L4

In the Lamu basin’s Block L4 all eyes are on the Pate 2 well by Zarara Oil and Gas expected to spud before the second quarter. Notably the well follows an earlier natural gas discovery in Pate-1 well  by Shell and BP in 1971 which according to records encountered over-pressured gas-charged sands in the Basal Kipini reservoir at 4,175 metres MD with gas flowing from an uncased hole section for 2-3 days during drilling  before it was eventually brought under control and then plugged with cement and abandoned. The main reason for the abandoning was because the consortium was basically searching for oil and not natural gas.  The same consortium had discovered gas flowing at non-commercial rates exceeding 2 mmscf/day at the Dodori-1 well located some 30 kilometers northeast of Pate 1 indicating a working hydrocarbon system in the area. Zarara Oil and Gas is currently operating an 18 month licence extension through to June 2017, to the First Additional Exploration Period on both of the production sharing contracts.

Block L19

Also in the Lamu basin Rift Energy which was earlier expected to spud in Block L19 in 2016, as it had announced pre-drilling works already complete, could pick up from where it left. According to the company it had identified four drill-ready prospects and 20+ additional leads with significant reserve potential and was in the final stages of completion of the Environmental Impact Assessments in the prospects.

A more comprehensive report will be available starting 5th January at a cost of $100. Contact editor if interested:

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