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Will Kenya be Africa's next big oil exporter?

Kenya has moved a step closer to becoming an oil exporter after a new discovery in the north of the country.
British company Tullow Oil announced in late September that drilling work had revealed the presence of oil in the Auwerwer and Upper Lokone sandstone reservoirs. The company will now carry out further tests.
For the company, which began drilling in Kenya last year, this is the fourth consecutive discovery of oil there. Earlier this year, the firm decided there was enough oil for commercial exploitation of reserves in the country’s Turkana area.

In a statement, Angus McCoss, Tullow’s exploration director, said: “This success is further evidence of the
exceptional oil potential of our East African Rift Basin acreage. We are now increasing the pace of exploration in Kenya, aiming for 12 wells over the next 12 months.”
Keith Hill, CEO at Canadian firm Africa Oil, which is working with Tullow Oil in the region, said: “We are thrilled with the 100 per cent success rate of the drilling to programme to date in northern Kenya, and with 10 additional leads and prospects in this basin, we can expect additional discoveries in the future.

If Kenya begins shipping out oil, it would prove a huge boost for its finances. Robust exports of oil would underpin the country’s shilling currency and help it compete with other African nations offering natural resources, such as Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

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