Tullow finds light, waxy crude in Kenya rift basin

Tullow Oil PLC said it has recovered movable oil of greater than 30° gravity at the Ngamia-1 exploratory well in Block 10BB in a rift basin in Turkana County of northwestern Kenya.

The well was drilled to an intermediate depth of 1,041 m, was successfully logged and sampled, and encountered more than 20 m of net oil pay. Africa Oil Corp., Vancouver, which owns the other 50% of Block 10BB, calls the area the Lokichar basin and said the reservoirs consist of good-quality sandstones of Tertiary age.

Tullow said the oil has properties similar to the light, waxy crude discovered in Uganda. It plans to deepen the well to 2,700 m to explore further potential. Then the rig will move to Tullow-operated Block 10A to spud the Paipai-1 wildcat in the second half of 2012.

The Ngamia structure, 300 miles north-northwest of Nairobi, is the first prospect to be tested as part of a multiwell drilling campaign in Kenya and Ethiopia. Many leads and prospects similar to Ngamia have been identified, Tullow said, and following this discovery the outlook for further success is vastly improved.

Tullow has a 50% operated interest in multiple licenses in Kenya and Ethiopia rift basins totaling more than 100,000 sq km. Turkana County is one of seven basins mapped in Tullow’s acreage and is similar in size to the 9,000 sq km Lake Albert rift basin in Uganda. Tullow also plans to explore in Somalia.

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