Fate of Lamu gas deposits to be known by end month

Some of the drilling equipment for the gas and oil exploration on Pate Island. PHOTO: COURTESY.

Lamu, KENYA: The fate of the Pate Island, Lamu gas deposits will be known by the end of the month.

The gas drilling exercise in Lamu East has now reached 3,700 meters deep out of the intended 4,500 meters.

The drilling is being undertaken by the Zarara Oil and Gas Limited,a subsidiary of Midway Resources International.

Speaking in Lamu on Tuesday,Zarara Oil and Gas Country Manager Peter Nduru said the drilling of the Pate-2 Well will be complete by end of this month of October after which they will now decide on whether or not to proceed to drill Pate-3 depending on the commercial quality of the gas drilled.

He said the arrival of a bigger rig in June this year will enable them to drill up to 4,500 meters deep.

“We are now at 3,700 meters and progressing well. By end of October, we will have done 4,500 meters all thanks to the rig we are using now. We will then evaluate the quality and quantity of the gas deposits if any then decide on whether to proceed to the next well,” said Nduru.

The entire exercise is worth Sh.2.6 Billion with works having commenced in April this year.

The drilling is being done on block L4 and L13 which are located close to the Sh 2.5 trillion Lamu Port South Sudan Ethiopia Transport corridor project-LAPSSET.

Nduru says the gas is found to be adequate, will also boost the functioning of the LAPSSET through increased power generation.

The current drilling campaign at Pate follows a four-year evaluation programme undertaken by Zarara Oil and Gas Limited.

It included acquisition, processing, and interpretation of extensive block-wide gravity-magnetics data, the acquisition, processing, and interpretation of the 400-kilometer line of transition zone 2D seismic over the original Pate-1 discovery area, and integration of the new data and analyses with the available historical regional exploration seismic and drilling data.

The drilling campaign comes some 48 years after Shell-BP drilled Pate-1, a natural gas discovery well in 197I.

The well was however plugged and abandoned due to downhole gas control issues and the fact that there was no market for natural gas in the region at that time.