British oil explorer Tullow Oil says it intends to ship out Kenya’s first crude to the export market next year.
Kenya last July delayed a plan to start small-scale crude oil production of about 2,000 barrels a day for transportation by road to Mombasa for export.
On Wednesday, Tullow said produced oil will initially be stored, until all work is completed and necessary consents and approvals granted for the transfer by road.
“…the current phase of exploration and appraisal drilling in the South Lokichar Basin has been concluded and the focus is now on the Early Oil Pilot Scheme (EOPS) and the development of the discovered resources,” it said in an update.
“As part of EOPS extended production, water injection testing and a water-flood pilot test utilising the Ngamia-11 well are planned for the first half of 2018.”
Tullow initially struck oil in Turkana’s Lokichar basin in northwest Kenya in 2012 and has since followed it up with a string of other finds, putting the country on the path to becoming a producer.
The recoverable reserves are estimated at 750 million barrels, considered commercially viable. Last month, the government signed an agreement with Tullow to build a pipeline to evacuate the oil.