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Data Shows Kenya Has Crude Oil, Gas Prospects
By Allan Kisia and Lawrence Aluru
Nairobi, Kenya, April 20, 2006 – Kenya has viable deposits of crude oil and gas, a workshop was told on Wednesday.
Environment minister Prof Kivutha Kibwana said information showed positive prospects of crude oil and gas, resulting in the intensification of exploration work.
"Even though Kenya has not found oil deposits, a lot of data showing positive prospects has been obtained," he said.
Last month, Energy acting minister Henry Obwocha announced that the long-awaited oil exploration in the country was set to begin in October.
On Wednesday, Kibwana said the Government had developed a new strategic plan to encourage exploration activities.
In a speech read on his behalf by the Commissioner of Mines and Geology, Lojomon Biwott, Kibwana said the plan would be achieved through facilitating leasing of all open acreage to exploration.
The minister said Woodside Kenya, an affiliate of Australia’s Woodside Energy, was set to start drilling for oil in Lamu basin at the end of the year.
His remarks were made during the official opening of a regional workshop on oil and gas in Eastern African shores. The workshop was held at a Nairobi hotel.
It attracted participants from Nigeria, Tanzania, UK and Mozambique. Chief geologist at the Ministry of Energy, Don Riaroh, said the Government was planning to sign an oil exploration agreement with China.
Riaroh noted that the international community had become interested in exploring oil in East Africa, particularly Kenya.
"We have attracted a lot of interest because of good geology, good source rocks and laws that encourage investment," he said.
Peter Grant, the general manager of Woodside (UK), said they have concentrated their exploration in deep waters. He said Woodside had so far invested more than Sh852 million in oil exploration in Kenya.