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No luck in drilling for oil and gas in Kenya

Tullow Oil said it found no commercial prospects in frontier basin in northern Kenya despite earlier optimism and results. Photo courtesy of Tullow Oil LONDON, Nov. 17 (UPI) — Despite earlier optimism about the reserve potential in frontier African oil and gas basins, Tullow Oil said it came up empty handed in its efforts in Kenya. Tullow, which has headquarters in London, said it didn’t find any hydrocarbons worth exploring further at a frontier, or wildcat, well in northern Kenya. "While this wildcat well did not find commercial hydrocarbons, it provides valuable data as we assess the wider prospectivity of this basin," Angus McCoss, the company’s exploration director, said in a statement. Tullow is placing bets on emerging basins in Africa, notably offshore developments in Ghana. Like its peers, the company said it’s been a "difficult year" for energy companies working through a period of historically low oil prices. […]

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Uganda: Kenya Shrugs Off Uganda Plan to Build Oil Pipeline Via Tanzania

Nairobi — Kenya has shrugged off fears over a decision by neighbouring Uganda to consider building a crude oil pipeline through Tanzania. Kenya brushed aside concerns that Uganda’s plan, if it proves cheaper than the alternatives, would scuttle its infrastructural plans for its own oil pipeline. Acting Transport Cabinet Secretary James Macharia told the Nation on Wednesday that while Kenya is "keenly keeping a close watch on the unfolding events in Uganda", it would go ahead with its own infrastructural plans "undeterred". "We are going according to our own plans. Nothing has changed," said Mr Macharia in Nairobi. Last month, it emerged that Kenya’s prospects of a crude oil pipeline through Hoima-Lokichar-Lamu could be crushed after Uganda signed an agreement with Tanzania to explore the Tanga route. Uganda, Tanzania, the Tanzania Petroleum Development Corporation and Total E&P Uganda signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) outlining new pipeline arrangements. The […]

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Kenya has a billion barrels of oil that might not be going anywhere

Fidgety oil companies and investors heaved a sigh of relief in August when Kenya and Uganda announced they had picked a route for the world’s longest heated pipeline. Finally, there was a plan for getting the estimated 1 billion barrels in Kenya’s remote northwest out of the country. The proposed route cut from northern Uganda’s Albertine region, into Kenya, through the Lokichar Basin, and then southeast before terminating in Kenya’s coastal Lamu County. It would have allowed Kenya to share the cost of piping oil with Uganda, which has 6.5 billion barrels of its own oil that it wants to get to market. But this week Uganda turned around and announced it had instead signed an agreement with Tanzania and Total (which is exploring in Uganda) to consider a pipeline for Ugandan oil through Tanzania, bypassing Kenya altogether. Proposed oil pipelines in East Africa Proposed oil pipelines in East […]

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Kenya Starts Talks With Uganda on Financing for Oil Pipeline

Kenya started talks with neighboring Uganda on the financing and construction of an oil pipeline that will link the two countries and ferry crude produced by companies including Tullow Oil Plc, the Kenyan Energy Ministry said. Discussions that also looked at project time frames and involved officials from both East African countries began this week, Joseph Njoroge, the ministry’s principal secretary, said in a phone interview from Nairobi, Kenya’s capital, on Wednesday. The negotiations follow an announcement by Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta on Aug. 10 that the route for the conduit had been agreed after months of debate. “We have started working out the details together with the Ugandans,” Njoroge said. “We will also engage as many stakeholders as we can. We want this project to take off immediately.” Tullow has found oil in both countries, with Uganda estimating finds at 6.5 billion barrels and Kenya at 600 million […]

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Kenyan Oil-Pipeline Accord With Uganda Paves Way for Exports

Kenya and neighboring Uganda agreed on the route of a planned oil pipeline, ending months of debate on the link that will export crude from companies including Tullow Oil Plc. The pipeline will pass through the Lokichar basin in northern Kenya, Manoah Esipisu, spokesman for Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta, said Monday by phone from the Ugandan capital, Kampala. The countries had also discussed building the link through southern Kenya and the capital, Nairobi. The agreed design will be the cheapest to develop, according to an e-mailed statement from the Ugandan presidency. Tullow has found oil in both countries, with Uganda estimating finds at 6.5 billion barrels and Kenya at 600 million barrels . The planned $4.5 billion pipeline to the Indian Ocean will allow the U.K. company to start exports from joint ventures with Africa Oil Corp. and Total SA. China’s Cnooc Ltd. is also a partner in Uganda. […]

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SOCO Oil Company Paid Large Sums to Officer in Congo, Activists Say

Photo Virunga National Park, the oldest in Africa, has been the center of an intense conflict between the forces of economic development and environmental conservation. Credit Uriel Sinai for The New York Times NAIROBI, Kenya — When a British oil company began prospecting for oil in Africa’s oldest national park , drawing worldwide concern and inspiring an Oscar-nominated documentary last year, the company was adamant in denying any wrongdoing. Though soldiers in the Democratic Republic of Congo may have engaged in a campaign of intimidation and coercion against nearby residents who are opposed to drilling in the park, the company said it could not be held responsible for their actions. “We can’t tell the army to go and kiss off,” Roger Cagle, the deputy chief executive director of the oil company, SOCO International, told The Telegraph newspaper in Britain. He said that the soldiers had been assigned by the […]

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Kenya: The Next Big Oil Exporter

Not even the specter of a spillover of Islamic extremism from Somalia can dampen the atmosphere in Kenya, where commercial oil production is expected to begin in 2016 and discovery after discovery has made this the hottest and fastest-paced hydrocarbon scene on the continent. When it comes to new oil and gas frontiers, today it’s all about Africa. And more specifically, it’s all about the eastern coast, with Kenya the clear darling–not just because it’s outpacing neighboring Uganda by leaps and bounds, but also because despite some political instability hiccups and the threat of militant al-Shabaab, it’s still one of the safest venues in the region. Six of the last 10 biggest finds have been in Africa, where—all told–there are some 130 billion barrels of crude oil waiting to be tapped by more than 500 companies, according to a recent report by PriceWaterhouseCoopers. Topping this list are Kenya’s Anza […]

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Kenya Sees Oil Resources Almost Doubling With More Drilling

Kenya expects its estimate of oil resources to almost double to 1 billion barrels as well-drilling climbs and the government forges ahead with plans to build an export pipeline, an energy ministry official said. Tullow Oil Plc. (TLW) and its partner Africa Oil Corp. (AOI) have discovered an estimated 600 million barrels of oil in the South Lokichar Basin since announcing the country’s first crude find in March 2012. The discovery has spurred the East African nation to accelerate infrastructure-development plans, including construction of an oil pipeline that will link Uganda to a planned port in the Kenyan coastal town of Lamu. Initial data acquired from northern Kenya indicates the figure for estimated oil resources is set to rise with increased drilling, said Petroleum Commissioner Martin Heya. “Most licenses will move to the drilling stage next year because that is when their initial license period of two to three […]

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Kenya: Oil Exploitation Contradicts Kenya's Climate Goals, Legislator Warns

Kenya is in the final stage of enacting a new climate change law, expected to be approved in the coming months. At the same time, the private sector is preparing to tap significant oil reserves in the north. Will the hunt for fossil fuels thwart Kenya’s efforts to go green and curb its carbon emissions? After a 2007 study forecast how climate change would impact Kenya, a National Climate Change Response Strategy was launched at the 2009 U.N. climate summit in Copenhagen. The government then developed a Climate Change Action Plan to implement the strategy, which was completed in March 2013. The action plan spells out how to tackle climate change at local, county and national levels. The next step is to enshrine that in law. "We realised we had collected enough information to start preparing climate change legislation, because it cuts across all sectors – hence the need […]

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Kenya: Oil Exploitation Contradicts Kenya’s Climate Goals, Legislator Warns

Kenya is in the final stage of enacting a new climate change law, expected to be approved in the coming months. At the same time, the private sector is preparing to tap significant oil reserves in the north. Will the hunt for fossil fuels thwart Kenya’s efforts to go green and curb its carbon emissions? After a 2007 study forecast how climate change would impact Kenya, a National Climate Change Response Strategy was launched at the 2009 U.N. climate summit in Copenhagen. The government then developed a Climate Change Action Plan to implement the strategy, which was completed in March 2013. The action plan spells out how to tackle climate change at local, county and national levels. The next step is to enshrine that in law. "We realised we had collected enough information to start preparing climate change legislation, because it cuts across all sectors – hence the need […]

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Uganda, Kenya to Build World's Longest Heated Oil Pipeline

Should Uganda and Kenya finally build a crude oil export pipeline, it will be the longest heated such facility in the world. According to a report released last month by Tullow Oil Plc, both countries have agreed to build the pipeline and have commenced a comprehensive study on the pipeline. "Tullow and its partners have agreed with the government of Kenya to commence development studies. In addition, the partnership is involved in a comprehensive study for an export pipeline," the Tullow Oil Plc annual report 2013 reads. According to the report, the export pipeline route on the Kenyan side is expected to run mostly underground, over 850 kilometres from the Lokichar basin to the coast. Kenya is to construct the pipeline from Lokichar basin while Uganda is expected to construct its part of the pipeline from the Lake Albert rift basin to link up with the Kenyan pipeline and […]

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Uganda, Kenya to Build World’s Longest Heated Oil Pipeline

Should Uganda and Kenya finally build a crude oil export pipeline, it will be the longest heated such facility in the world. According to a report released last month by Tullow Oil Plc, both countries have agreed to build the pipeline and have commenced a comprehensive study on the pipeline. "Tullow and its partners have agreed with the government of Kenya to commence development studies. In addition, the partnership is involved in a comprehensive study for an export pipeline," the Tullow Oil Plc annual report 2013 reads. According to the report, the export pipeline route on the Kenyan side is expected to run mostly underground, over 850 kilometres from the Lokichar basin to the coast. Kenya is to construct the pipeline from Lokichar basin while Uganda is expected to construct its part of the pipeline from the Lake Albert rift basin to link up with the Kenyan pipeline and […]

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Tullow upbeat about Kenyan oil prospects

British energy explorer Tullow Oil said Thursday some of its oil reserve areas in Kenya were poorly developed, though it remained upbeat about the potential. Tullow announced exploration results from Blocks 10BB and 13T, which it operates in parity with Africa Oil Corp. Tullow said it encountered a "poorly developed oil bearing reservoir" in Block 13T, though deploying rigs elsewhere in the nearby Amosing discovery would target an area it said "may be one of the largest discoveries in the basin to date." African Oil Corp., in a separate statement , said early 2013 testing from both blocks yielded a flow rate of about 5,000 barrels of oil per day. Angus McCoss, exploration director for Tullow, said in a statement early exploration results from Kenya were in line with expectations. "Our focus remains on continuing to explore and appraise our first successful basin, as well as stepping out into […]

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Kenya, Uganda Scramble to Bring Peace to South Sudan

Kenya and Uganda were recruiting investors to back an oil pipeline in South Sudan in December when a rebellion upended the world’s newest nation. Now the two East African nations have joined a diplomatic effort to end the conflict in South Sudan —yet another reminder of how the security crises of a volatile region intrude on efforts to boost commerce among its countries. "I’m not sleeping," Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni said in a televised address last week. "I am monitoring the crisis which is taking place in the young country of South Sudan and I want to see that peace is attained there." More than 1,000 people have died and more than 100,000 have fled their homes since troops loyal to former Vice President Riek Machar rose up in December against those loyal to President Salva Kiir . On Tuesday, South Sudanese military spokesman Philip Aguer said government troops […]

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Wood Mac: Uganda-Kenya pipeline vital for region

A proposed oil pipeline from central Uganda to the coast of Kenya could be a vital step toward unlocking East Africa’s potential, Wood Mackenzie said Wednesday. "There is huge untapped potential across both countries, with over 3.5 billion barrels of [expected] volumes in Kenya, and a further 1 billion barrels of [expected] reserves in Uganda," Martin Kelly, an African analyst for energy consultant Wood Mackenzie, said in a statement. "The proposed pipeline is fundamental in unlocking value for both countries." Wood Mackenzie estimates it will cost at least $4 billion to build an 869-mile long pipeline from central Uganda to the Kenyan coast. Uganda is a landlocked country and the region in general lacks the infrastructure needed to take full advantage of the oil potential. Wood Mackenzie adds the type of oil found in Uganda needs to be heated in order to facilitate pipeline […]

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Resource-hungry Chinese lead railroad drive in Africa

The Chinese, investing heavily in Africa to secure its oil and other raw materials for their expanding economy, are spearheading a new era of railroad building to unlock the continent’s interior. This is an echo of the long-gone colonial empires when a century ago British and French engineers first opened up Africa to plunder its riches. The railroad frenzy is being accompanied by a massive push to build several major ports along the coast of East Africa to accelerate exports across the Indian Ocean, mostly to China, India and Japan, as well as lay down a network of oil and gas pipelines to these ports. “Railways are key to increasing regional trade,” said Darlan Fabio de David, chief executive of Rift Valley Railways, a private equity-backed company rehabilitating the line between the Kenyan port of Mombasa and the inland Ugandan capital of Uganda […]

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Britain’s Tullow Oil says it has made another oil discovery in Kenya

British energy explorer Tullow Oil said Friday an oil discovery in the Agete-1 exploration well in Kenya marks its fifth straight oil find in the region. Tullow said it encountered oil while drilling its Agete-1 wildcat well, which is positioned in a region not known previously to contain oil and natural gas reserves. “A fifth consecutive oil discovery onshore northern Kenya highlights the emerging world class exploration and production potential within our … acreage,” Angus McCoss, exploration director for Tullow, said in a statement Friday. McCoss said next year’s exploration campaign in the region would be “intensive.” Tullow provided no estimate of the potential from Agete-1. In October, Tullow halted operations at drilling sites in northern Kenya because of labor strikes. Work resumed Nov. 7 following talks with federal and local Kenyan officials. More than half of the 1,400 people employed by Tullow in […]

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Britain's Tullow Oil says it has made another oil discovery in Kenya

British energy explorer Tullow Oil said Friday an oil discovery in the Agete-1 exploration well in Kenya marks its fifth straight oil find in the region. Tullow said it encountered oil while drilling its Agete-1 wildcat well, which is positioned in a region not known previously to contain oil and natural gas reserves. “A fifth consecutive oil discovery onshore northern Kenya highlights the emerging world class exploration and production potential within our … acreage,” Angus McCoss, exploration director for Tullow, said in a statement Friday. McCoss said next year’s exploration campaign in the region would be “intensive.” Tullow provided no estimate of the potential from Agete-1. In October, Tullow halted operations at drilling sites in northern Kenya because of labor strikes. Work resumed Nov. 7 following talks with federal and local Kenyan officials. More than half of the 1,400 people employed by Tullow in […]

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Tullow to return to work in Kenya after strikes

LONDON, Nov. 7 (UPI) — British energy explorer Tullow Oil announced plans Thursday to restart operations at two reserve areas in Kenya shuttered previously by labor strikes. Tullow said it would restart operations at blocks 10BB and 13T in northern Kenya by Friday. It halted operations there in late October. The company said the decision follows an agreement reached with federal and local officials on labor issues. “Tullow has reaffirmed its commitment to local employment, local opportunities and transparency throughout its operations in northern Kenya,” the company said in a statement. “As Tullow’s exploration campaign progresses and gathers pace, the number of local employees and local companies involved in our work will continue to grow.” More than half of the 1,400 people employed by Tullow in Kenya are from the north of the country. Tullow in September announced it made a new oil discovery in northern Kenya. It said […]

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Kenya: Locals Storm Tullow Oil Fields in Turkana

Tullow Oil has been forced to suspend operations at its two blocks in Turkana after locals stormed the facilities on Saturday. Two area Members of Parliament marshalled local residents to match to Tullow’s camps demanding for jobs for the locals and supply contracts for the communities. The affected are Block 10BB and Block 13T in Turkana East and Turkana South. Tullow Oil and Canada’s Africa Oil Corporation each have a 50 per cent working interest in the two blocks. Over 2000 Turkana residents matched into the two camps in an incident that saw some looting of Tullow properties. No one was injured during the skirmish, Tullow Oil officials said. Sources said the locals were seeking to chase away all the Tullow employees who are not locals and have them replaced with locals. Tullow estimates that out of the 1,700 employees at the two blocks, close to 900 are from […]

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