Origin JV downsizes holdings off Kenya

Origin Energy and its partner Pancontinental Oil & Gas have relinquished Block L9 in the Lamu basin off Kenya and reduced the size of its license in neighboring Block L8.

Rick Wilkinson
OGJ Correspondent

MELBOURNE, Jan. 10 -- Sydney-based Origin Energy Ltd. and its partner Pancontinental Oil & Gas Ltd., Perth, have relinquished Block L9 in the Lamu basin off Kenya and reduced the size of its license in neighboring Block L8 as part of a revised agreement with the Kenyan government.

The companies pointed out that the retained area contains the main identified prospects, including the Mbawa structure, which they say has the potential to contain about 5 billion bbl of oil or 7 tcf of gas.

Under the new arrangements, Origin is fully funding a $10 million 3D seismic program over the main prospects in Lamu basin in 2009 as well as all other project costs for 2 years beginning Jan. 22.

The JV has the option in the second year to drill one exploration well or fully relinquish the block.

Origin has a 75% interest in Block L8, with Pancontinental holding the remaining 25%.

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