The oil firms tasked with prospecting oil deposits in the semi-arid area of Turkana County in the Kenyan North Rift region have continued to report of more oil reserves.

The area is said to be with immense hydrocarbons with the firms being optimistic of exploring even larger and better quality of oil deposits in the yet to be drilled wells.

 In March this year, Tullow Oil a partner of Africa Oil which has been drilling the Ngamia 1 well in Lokichar area of Turkana County since early this year announced it had found oil deposits that have a
cumulative thickness of 100 metres after drilling a depth of about 1,000 metres.

Mid this week, the firm announced it had found an additional 43 metres of potential oil in its Ngamia 1 well.

It now plans to commence testing at the block to determine the commercial viability of the oil present. However, the firm has suspended further drilling of the well at 2,340 metres, against the planned 2,700 metres saying the depth can give a vivid and clear picture of what the block holds.

Tullow Oil also says that it would soon start drilling what it calls Twiga 1 well in Block 13T, 30 kilometres north east of Ngamia 1.It plans to drill another well in Block 10A and another one in the Omo region of Ethiopia, all to be concluded in the course of this year.

It is good news to many Kenyans according to experts who say that, the nation falls in the same geographical belt as Uganda and Tanzania that have natural gas and oil, therefore should also hold commercially viable deposits of oil.

In 2006, Uganda discovered commercial hydrocarbon deposits along its boarder with the Democratic
Republic of Congo and Tullow says reserves of 1.1 billion barrels are confirmed and believes there are further 1.4 billion barrels left to find.

The Ministry of Energy last week, issued four firms with licenses to prospect for oil in seven of the remaining 12 offshore blocks in the country. Italy oil firm, Eni got three licenses for three offshore
blocks while Total will prospect one block. In the meantime, North American firms Rift Energy, ERHC Energy and Pacific Seaboard signed licensing agreement for the exploration of one offshore block each.

 With all this revelations out, not only Kenyans are a happy lot but the entire East African region. And as Kenya joins its neighbours in the oil industry, this will be a major boost to the Socio-economic development of the East African Community.

The full potential of the oil discovery is meant to be a drive force that will improve the living standards of the people with the East African Community bloc and even beyond.


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