The head of the state-owned National Oil Corporation of Kenya, Kiraitu Murungi, has urged the government to increase investment in oil exploration for an estimated potential revenue of 1.1 trillion shillings (USD 8 billion).
Kiraitu Murungi, who previously served as energy minister, urged President William Ruto to increase investment in hydrocarbon production to solve the country’s debt crisis, state-owned Kenya Broadcasting Corp reported.
He said Kenya will earn at least USD 8 billion from the Lokichar Basin alone, which will be enough to significantly reduce borrowing.
The Lokichar field asset is valued at 472 million barrels recoverable, the report said.
Last month, London-headquartered Tullow Oil announced it would take full control of Project Oil Kenya Development after two joint venture partners, Africa Oil Corp and Total Energies, pulled out of blocks 10BB, 13T and 10BA in the South Lokichar Basin.
Tullow Kenya BV Managing Director Madhan Srinivasan said, “Project Oil Kenya is a low-cost development project that has the potential to unlock material value.”
Tullow Oil is a multinational oil and gas exploration company based in Tullow, Ireland and headquartered in London, United Kingdom.
In 2006, the Company began drilling its first well in Uganda and began exploring the Lake Albert region.
In 2007, Tullow drilled two deep water wells off the coast of Ghana and discovered the massive Jubilee oil field.
In December 2015, Tullow submitted a draft field development plan to the Kenyan government to develop nine fields in the South Lokichar Basin.
Crude oil production from the South Lokichar Basin is expected to be between 60,000 barrels per day to 100,000 per day.
Currently, Kenya does not produce any hydrocarbons, although the country most likely has the potential to become an oil producer after 2030.
Several commercial oil discoveries have been made in Kenya in recent years, but the country is facing obstacles that have caused production delays.
Negotiations for a joint export pipeline route with neighbouring Uganda are underway, while persistently low oil prices have slowed exploration drilling in Kenya.