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Discovery of oil a great opportunity for Kenya

Workers at the Ngamia 1 oil rig in Turkana county, northern Kenya. The discovery of oil has caused a lot of interest in the region. Photo | STEPHEN MUDIARI |

Recent progress on Tullow Oil’s Ngamia-1 exploration well in Turkana County in Kenya moved the country one small step closer to establishing a commercially viable sector.

Today, Tullow and its partner, Africa Oil, are just over half way through drilling the Ngamia well and already we have encountered in excess of 100 metres of total net oil pay across multiple reservoir zones. Net pay is the thickness of an oil reservoir that may be able to produce oil.

There is little doubt that this is a stunning result. However, just as when we made our first announcement about Ngamia-1 back in March, this remains one small step and there is still a long journey ahead of us.
With the discovery of oil comes a great opportunity and great responsibility.

We hear much about the resource curse and the potential effects on the underlying growth prospects of a country.

Sadly, in Africa, there are many examples of where a country’s natural resources have not been effectively utilised to deliver the lasting prosperity which is often highly anticipated. The reasons for this are many but, crucially, they are avoidable.

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Before any long journey, you need to take time to plan and prepare. You need to make sure you are in good health and have the tools you may need along the way.

You also need to understand your environment and the challenges you may encounter. Kenya’s journey to becoming a competitive oil producing nation is no different.

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