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Blamuel Njururi – Nairobi, June 18, 2014. An Australian firm prospecting off Kenya’s southern coast has reported a verified oil find at one of its recently completed wells in the Lamu Basin.
Pancontinental Oil and Gas NL say they “can confirm that their recently completed Sunbird well has intersected an oil column”. This is the first-ever discovery of oil off the East African coast.
The gross oil column has been assessed to be 14 metres thick beneath a gross gas column of about 30 metres in a limestone reservoir in the Sunbird Reef in area L10A. Oil and gas samples have been recovered and analyzed using sophisticated geochemical techniques.
The Sunbird Reef is an ancient Miocene pinnacle reef buried beneath approximately 900 metres of younger sediment.
Pancontinental says the results are highly significant because they are the first proof of the presence a prospective offshore oil system in the Lamu Basin. The oil and gas have been geochemically typed in detail and the prospective source rocks have been dated and characterized for use in future exploration.
Pancontinental CEO Barry Rushworth said the implications for regional oil exploration were “truly outstanding”.
“The Sunbird-1 oil is the historic first-ever oil discovery offshore Kenya,” Rushworth said. “Furthermore, it is the only offshore oil column ever reported seaward of the eastern coast… from South Africa to Somalia. We believe that this is a play-opening discovery in Kenya’s Lamu Basin. Because of the Sunbird discovery we expect to see a significant increase in industry interest offshore Kenya.”
Analysis of the Sunbird results has been complicated by the loss of drilling mud, seawater and remedial cement pumped into the limestone reservoir drilling operations.
Pancontinental has an 18.75 per cent interest in the well and block L10A. Others in the Kenya L10A consortium are BG Group (50 per cent) and PTTEP (31.25 per cent).
The firm has three exploration areas in the Lamu Basin covering a total area of about 15,000 square kilometres. The Operator of the Block L10A Petroleum Sharing Contract, BG Group, is continuing to analyze the well data and will recommend a future exploration program using the well results.
“Now that we know there is a prospective oil system and we know the important technical details, we are in a prime position to explore for larger volumes of oil,” Rushworth added.
Sunbird-1 was “plugged and abandoned” in accordance with the drilling program, meaning that the well has been made safe in such a way that it can be left permanently without further intervention. These measures are designed to ensure that there is no danger of leakage of oil or gas within the well or to the sea floor.
The L10A joint venture is considering the details of follow-up exploration activities. Other offshore Kenyan activity includes an exploration well to be drilled by Anadarko, as recently announced for later in 2014.
Oil exploration in Turkana.
Export of oil would be a major revenue earner for Kenya. Pancontinental Oil and Gas NL says they can confirm that their recently completed Sunbird well has intersected an oil column.
Africa Oil, Tullow Oil’s partner in Blocks 10BB and 13T in Northern Kenya (Tullow 50% operated interest), May 15th issued the following operational updates in their quarterly results statement.
Twiga-2 sidetrack encounters 62 metres of net oil pay “The Sakson PR5 rig is continuing drilling operations on the Twiga-2 up-dip appraisal well. The initial wellbore was drilled near the basin bounding fault and encountered some 18 metres of net oil pay within alluvial fan facies, with limited reservoir quality.
A decision was therefore made to sidetrack the well away from the fault to explore north of Twiga-1 and some 62 metres of vertical net oil pay has been discovered in the Auwerwer formation, similar in quality to the initial Twiga-1 discovery.
The well is currently being deepened to evaluate the Lower Lokhone potential and a testing program for this successful well is planned to be conducted later this year.”
Ekunyuk-1 finds best sands on eastern flank although lacks trap
“The Ekunyuk-1 well is located on the eastern flank, on trend with recent discoveries at Etuko and Ewoi. The well has now reached a final total depth of 1,802 metres and has encountered some 5 metres of net oil pay, within approximately 150 metres of reservoir quality water-bearing sandstone and an equal thickness of a basin-wide rich oil shale. This rig will now be moved to the Agete-2 location.”
Angus McCoss, Exploration Director, Tullow Oil plc, commented recently:
“I am pleased to announce that the Twiga-2 exploratory sidetrack has encountered material oil-bearing sandstone reservoirs north of Twiga-1. The combined results from Twiga-2 and its successful sidetrack confirm the resource potential and have given us valuable insights for the locations of future exploration and development wells.
The Ekunyuk-1 well encountered the best developed reservoir sands so far on the east flank, although at this location the trap appears to be incompletely formed. Additionally, the presence of a thick extensive oil shale gives us new options to study the basin’s substantial unconventional oil potential.”