Afren PLC has started a 1,800 line-km 2D seismic survey on Block 1 in northeastern Kenya along the border with Somalia.
The combine of Afren and Lion Petroleum Corp., private London explorer, will use the data to identify prospects for drilling in 2013. Real-time field processing and interpretation are in use.
The block, unexplored since 1990, covers 7.8 million acres in the Mandera Lugh basin, which extends into Ethiopia where it is called the Ogaden basin.
Lion Petroleum has a 50% working interest and is carried by Afren through the first 600 line-km of seismic expected to cost $6 million gross. Afren, which farmed into the license, is the operator.
In the first half of 2011, the partnership acquired airborne gravity and magnetic data to define the major basin geometry and plan the seismic.
Evidence is clear of a working petroleum system in the basin. The well-known Tarbaj oil seep is in the southwest part of Block 1.
In Ethiopia, close to the Block 1 border, the El Kuran-1 and 2 wells drilled by Tenneco in 1972 encountered oil, and Africa Oil Corp. plans to drill an offset exploratory well later this year. West of El Kuran, the Genale oil seep occurs on the basin flank. Farther north, the basin is gas productive from Hilal and Calub gas-condensate fields.