Tullow Oil’s July 2013 announcement, of both the successful testing of Ngamia-1 and the discovery of Etuko-1, onshore Kenya, recalls the comments of the International Finance Corporation (IFC) much earlier in the year, about the likelihood of the country becoming an oil producer by 2016.
The IFC statement had been widely described as extremely optimistic. Of the two oil discoveries in Kenya as of March 2013, only the Twiga-1 had been successfully tested. The Ngamia-1 test was ongoing, and as of then was running into some hitches.
Now that the Ngamia-1 flow test had successfully delivered “cumulative constrained flow rate totaling 3,200 BOPD of 250 to 350 degree API sweet waxy oil with no indication of pressure depletion”, it is time to re-appraise IFC’s optimism.
Tullow had claimed a “doubling of our previous estimates of net oil pay to 200 metres and 75 metres respectively, an optimized flow rate potential of around 5,000 BOPD per well and significantly increased discovered volumes”. “These results move us towards achieving the threshold for a commercial development in the Lokichar Basin,” gushes Africa Oil Corp., Tullow’s partner in Block 10BB, which contains the fields. “This encouragement has caused us to set in motion appraisal of the Ngamia-Twiga trend and to assemble a technical team to commence early development planning both for a large scale pipeline development and an early development scheme”, reports the Canadian minnow.
However, even with the combined mean associated resources for the two discoveries now estimated to be over 250 MMBO , these pools still require extensive appraisal work before field development sanction. And this, going by Tullow’s schedule, is not likely to be completed until 2015.
It’s clear that Kenyan onshore oilfield development will be more comparable to Uganda’s: a clutch of small to medium sized oil fields scattered all over the place, to be developed in cluster; and unlike one giant field lying in one single location like Ghana’s Jubilee field. No, these fields will not be in production before 2017.