Tullow Oil has halted the drilling of its well in northwestern Kenya after hitting a geological formation and may soon start assessing the commercial viability of the well where it had announced the country’s first oil discovery.
Tullow’s country manager in Kenya, Martin Mbogo, said the company had hit an unexpected geological formation about 400 metres short of its original projected target depth of 2,700 metres in the Ngamia-1 well.
Speaking to Reuters News agency, Mbogo said it was still too soon to discuss whether the well, in the country’s Turkana region, could ultimately lead Kenya into oil production.
He also declined to give a figure on how many barrels the well needs contain in order for it to be commercially viable.
In March, the explorer announced Ngamia-1 held Kenya’s first oil discovery, one in a series of major hydrocarbon finds in east Africa that has made the region a hotspot in oil and gas exploration.
Some 30 km west of Ngamia-1, Tullow is prepping its next drill site, known as Twiga-1, to receive the rig.
Mbogo has dismissed media reports of a protest by communities in the region, who are angry about Tullow’s presence and the fact they have not been included in the income generated by oil activities.
AUTHOR: BEN GUMO