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Canadian oil and gas explorer Simba Energy has said it will drill its first well in northeast Kenya in 2013
The oil explorer recently completed a passive seismic survey in the area and traced at least one billion barrels of oil in the Kenyan block, a company statement claimed.
According to a company executive, the organisation was currently focussed on tracing more oil sources in the East African nation.
Simba managing director of operations, Hassan Hassan, said, “Our focus is to drill as soon as possible. We still have to complete one more 2D seismic survey before targeting a drill spot.”
The company said that it had started the farm-out process so it could find a venture partner to help fund exploration costs in Kenya, which can run as high as US$50mn for onshore wells.
Hassan said he would prefer a major oil and gas company as a partner.
Some experts have expressed doubt about Block 2A’s prospects after US explorer Amoco drilled two dry wells in the area in the 1980s. Simba chief technology officer, James Dick, however, brushed off concerns that its well would be dry.
“Our seismic survey showed Amoco was drilling in the wrong place,” remarked Dick.
Interest in Kenyan exploration reached its peak this year with UK-based Tullow Oil discovering crude in the country’s northwest Turkana region. A Tullow statement said that the company would also start drilling in Ethiopia within the next six months.
Tullow’s Ethiopian venture partner, Agriterra, announced on 3 October 2012 that it was selling its 20 per cent stake in the exploration block to Marathon Oil for US$40mn, with a further US$10mn if a discovery was made.