Has Kenya found new oil in Turkana?
When the Canadian firm Africa Oil announced yesterday that they had got more oil at their block 10BB at Ngamia in Turkana,some champagne glasses were already up to toss to new wealth. And the social media was a buzz with excitement. We had found more oil in Turkana.
“The Ngamia-1 wildcat well in Kenya Block 10BB has now been drilled to a total depth of 2,340 meters, has made a significant light oil discovery and is now being suspended for future flow testing. In addition to the greater than 100 meters of net light oil pay in the Upper Lokhone Sand section previously reported, the well encountered an additional 43 meters of potential oil pay based on logs and the recovery of light oil on an MDT sample over a gross interval of 150 meters,” reads part of the statement.
Africa Oil added that testing equipment including down hole pumps is being mobilized to flow test a number of the zones in the Upper and Lower Lokhone Sands in the near future to confirm the full potential of this discovery.
But what most Kenyans do not know is that Tullow oil has a partnership with Africa Oil to explore for oil in some wells in Kenya. According to a statement on Tullow Oil website Tullow (50%) operates Block 10BB and is partnered by Africa Oil (50%). This means that the two companies have equal share of the oil explorations at Ngamia 1 and Twiga 1 wells.
So the ‘new’ discovery is not new but it means the oil find is now more after reaching 2,340 meters with an oil depth of 143meters. When Tullow first announced the oil find in March it was still at 100metres and they aimed at reaching 2,700 metres before they encountered a hard rock.
There are five stages in oil production and Ngamia well is at the second stage, called exploration. After exploration which entails detailed survey to identify a suitable project, it moves to appraisal stage. If a prospect is discovered, appraisal wells are used to check flow rate of the hydrocarbon (oil). This is the stage that Ngamia well is headed to.
The third stage is the development stage where Tullow Oil will asses the commercial viability of the find which is followed by drilling of wells in preparation of oil production. Uganda is at this stage. The final stage is the production by extracting and selling the oil.
At Ngamia, oil was encountered in sands throughout an 1,100 meter interval, including a 300 meter thick section of Lokhone Shale, which is believed to be the primary source interval in the South Lokichar Basin.
The Tullow/Africa One rig at Ngamia is now preparing to move to drill the Twiga-1 well, 30 km northeast in Block 13T along the western basin bounding fault on trend with Ngamia. Once this drilling has completed it is planned to use this rig to return to Ngamia-1 for the above mentioned flow testing added the statement by Africa One.
So the Canadian firm Africa Oil has not found new oil but it is the same well they share with Tullow at Ngamia 1. The media for some reasons has never clearly explained the partnership between the two firms. Other exploration sites are at Twiga still in Turkana and Parpai in Marsabit.