National Oil and Schlumberger sign oilfield development agreement in Kenya

LokicharKenya aims to boost its hydrocarbon production. (Image source: Glenn Euloth/Flickr)National Oil Corporation of Kenya (NOCK) has signed a MoU with the US-based global oilfield services company Schlumberger, a move that aims to explore new oil blocks in the eastern African country, boosting its oil and gas industry

Under the terms of MoU agreement, Schlumberger will support Kenya in field development planning (FDP) and in increasing hydrocarbon production.

Both National Oil Corporation and Schlumberger have agreed to make a blueprint to explore oil and gas potential for the Lokichar oil discoveries, situated 550km north-east of Nairobi.

In 2012, Kenya discovered commercial oil reserves in the Lokichar basin. The new FDP agreement with Schlumberger is expected to provide Kenya an independent view of the development of the Lokichar oil discoveries, helping the government in assessing the work being done by the investors in the oil fields.

According to MaryJane Mwangi, CEO of NOCK, some of the international investors in the Lokichar field include Tullow, Africa Oil and Maersk.

Mwangi further discussed that the MoU aims to strengthen Kenya’s initiative in exploring oil and gas resources in the country and in the region.

According to the industry experts, Kenya's South Lokichar basin remains one of the brightest hopes for oil production in East Africa. Dr Ian Cloke, vice-president for new ventures at Tullow, said that Lokichar would be the main focus of the company's work in Kenya. With 12 exploratory drillings, 21 appraisal wells, 11 accumulations discovered plus two tight oil finds, Dr Cloke said there is potentially one bbo in this basin.

Last year, Kenya started construction of 820km pipeline between Lokichar and Lamu on Kenya's coast, a project worth of US$2.1bn which is expected to be completed in the Q1 2021. With this, Kenya aims to emerge as a regional leader in Africa’s oil and gas market.

Apart from its initiative to explore oil and gas potential, Kenya has also revealed plans to build US$125mn facilities to handle and store liquefied-petroleum-gas (LPG) to increase the use of cooking-gas in the East African country.

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