Now you will see madness in kenya. The violatile Region of isiolo will become even more unstable. I hope this discovery is delayed for another 10 years Kenya is not ready for any FREE money like petrol dollars
China National Offshore Oil Corporation’s Xie Wensheng (right), former Chinese envoy Zheng Ming and Education Minister Sam Ongeri at Isiolo Stadium recently. The firm supported various community projects. Photo/FILE
Kenya is smelling petrodollars. The EastAfrican can authoritatively report that in two weeks, the country is expecting to join the league of oil producers on the continent.
International firms step up search for oil and gas reserves in Kenya
Energy Minister Kiraitu Murungi was bubbling with optimism when he told this newspaper on Thursday, “In a matter of days, we could be celebrating. God willing, I shall be announcing a historical discovery at the end of the month.”
Christmas will indeed come early should the drilling of a five-kilometre deep well in Isiolo by a Chinese firm, set to begin next week on October 28, strike oil.
And this time around, unlike as with past attempts that ended in disappointment after sinking billions into empty wells, Mr Murungi insisted, “We have done our homework and all indications are that Kenya will join Uganda in celebrating the status of a new oil producer.
“We can’t tell the size of the deposits we have yet, and there is a remote possibility that they may not be sufficient to qualify for commercial drilling, but that too will be known at the end of the month,” he said.
He added that he was convinced the seismic trials undertaken over the past two years are not lying.
Kenya’s optimism is informed by the geographical location of the prospective deposits — “not too far” from oil-rich Southern Sudan, whose deposits, according to the Ministry of Energy, extend into the neighbouring areas of Kenya, and also feed Uganda’s newly discovered deposits, which are found even under Lake Victoria.
The China National Offshore Oil Corporation will start drilling for oil at Block 9, Bogal 1-1, near Isiolo in northern Kenya next week.
The company is expected to spend up to $20 million to drill the Bogal 1-1 well.
Over the past three years, the company has invested about $15 million to gather data and analyse it.
“The Anza basin well will be the deepest ever drilled in Kenya,” Mr Murungi said.
The company is also licensed to explore oil deposits in the Lamu basin.