Multi-billion Oil and gas exploration set to kick off in Lamu

Multi-billion Oil and gas exploration set to kick off in Lamu

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An oil rig at Ngamia 1 in Turkana County where Tullow discovered oil. PHOTO: COURTESY.

Lamu, KENYA: A multi billion Oil and Gas exploration project is set to commence in Lamu County by March next year.

This follows a series of successful and promising seismic surveys conducted in 2013 in Pate island of Lamu East that confirmed the existence of large quantities of oil and gas deposits in the area.

The research surveys were conducted by Zarara Oil and Gas company,a fully owned subsidiary of Midway Resources International-MRI on the island.

The company revealed that they intend to drill about 102 wells to in order to reach out to the oil and gas deposits.

Speaking in Faza Town on Sunday,Zarara Oild and Gas company county manager Peter Nduru said Sh.1.1 Billion has already been used on the seismic survey that was conducted between 2012 and 2013.

Nduru who was in the town to hand over as part of the company’s Corporate Social Responsibility-CSR said the second phase which will comprise among other things drilling of the wells will be more expensive.

“If a well is to be drilled and completed, that’s a process which takes three phases and that alone cost Sh 3 billion. Between 2013 and 2014 we were dealing with data processing and data interpretation. Indications show that there could be gas. Until drilling is done we cannot prove the quantity,’’ said Nduru.

He said an Environmental Impact Assessment -EIA had already been conducted and that the report has already been handed over to the National Environment and Management Authority-NEMA and that they expect to begin drilling soon.

County leaders have welcomed the move with governor Issa Timamy calling on the investors ensure to sign an MoU with the county government for purposes of transparency and accountability.

“We want proper and constructive engagement , if the EIA report is ready after NEMA, the Lamu County leadership and even the locals here in Lamu East will need to be fully involved,’’ said Timamy.

Timamy said there was also need for the investors to consider setting aside a certain percentage of the revenue to be generated for the county.

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Zarara drilling strategy is to fully appraise the Pate natural gas discovery and then, in partnership with leading electrical power generation partners, undertake a phased development of up to 1000 megawatt of electricity that will be useful for the increasing power supply demands at the Lapsset project.

The government has given Zarara Oil and Gas Company an 18-month license extension that will run to June 2017 for the two blocks L4 and L13.