Plans to drill the Pate 2 well in Kenya’s Lamu basin’s block L4 are on course with well designing by Norwell Engineering currently ongoing according to Zarara Oil and Gas country manager Peter Nduru.
Plans to acquire a rig are also progressing as scheduled with the company yet to award the contract as scrutiny of tenders submitted underway.
The well that is expected to open the way to gas powered plants in Kenya if successful will be hoping to ride on the achievement witnessed in 1971 by Shell and BPduring the drilling of Pate 1 and which 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.
More studies such as the aero-gravity/magnetic survey in 2011 as well as the 374km of seismic lines acquired in 2012 are expected to increase the chances of success with plans already in place to convert the gas into electricity should testing show commercial quantities of natural gas (<30 Bcf)through an early production system as quickly as practicable. Sources with information on the project estimate the company could start power production in less than 24 after receiving a production license.
The well expected to reach a depth of 4500 meters will take 120 days to drill, test and complete.
A second well Pate 3 is scheduled to be drilled thereafter using the same well pad as Pate 2 using directional drilling technique to a vertical depth of 4500 with the total measured depth will be approximately 5,000 metres. The required drilling time to approximately 120 days to drill, test and complete.
Estimates from the Pate project show that a successful appraisal of and production from Pate-2 and 3 wells could have sufficient commercial volumes to proceed to the Phase 1 development of a small power plant (50MW-200MW).
Already the U.S. Trade and Development Agency (USTDA) and Zarara Oil & Gas Limited have concluded a $996,600 grant agreement to evaluate the technical, economic and environmental aspects of the proposed Lamu gas-to-power energy project on Pate Island.
Zarara Oil and Gas is currently operating under an 18 month license extension through to June 2017, to the First Additional Exploration Period on both of the production sharing contracts.
MRI owns a 75% working interest and operatorship (via its 100% subsidiary, Zarara Oil & Gas Limited) in two production sharing contracts over Blocks L4 and L13 while partner Swiss Oil Holdings Ltd holds (15%) and the balance of 10% being a carried interest of the Government of Kenya