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Tech development boosts oil finds in Kenya

24th July 2012

Advanced computing technology enhances oil exploration success in what has been dubbed by experts as East Africa’s great commercial promise

Tech development boosts oil finds in Kenya
New technologies have enabled smaller fields to be discovered and allowed for a significant increase in resource return potential of oil fields (from an estimated 30 to 50 per cent)

Development of computing technology boosted discovery of oil deposits in East Africa, as technological progress revolutionizes oil exploration in the region, it emerged on Sunday.

New technologies have enabled smaller fields to be discovered and allowed for a significant increase in resource return potential of oil fields (from an estimated 30 to 50 per cent).

The introduction of 3D interpretation has enhanced analysis of seismic data, crucial for resource analysis. The use of aerial surveys has also been employed to assess the presence of oil and map out the chances of drilling success. This has enabled the maximization of oil exploration in East Africa, as some of its countries do not hold substantial oil reserves.

Kenya has drilled 31 dry wells in Isiolo, in the northeast of the country, and Lamu, to the southeast. Kenya oil deposits could be of the same size as those found in Uganda, experts say (see latest OGT report on Uganda's oil-rich blocks).

Tullow Oil Kenya has devised a system that can achieve success even in areas considered to be devoid of oil deposits, according to operations manager Hans Meijers.

“We are happy to strike deposits in our first oil well drilled in Kenya as we deployed advanced technologies,” Meijers said.

Earlier this year, the firm's Ngamia 1 oil field in northwest Kenya hit over 140 meters of net oil pay.

Tullow Oil Kenya  has six exploration licenses in Kenya. It now plans to identify the actual size of the oil field, after completing an aerial gravity survey on more than 33,000 km.

Oil majors have raced to secure stakes in all of Kenya's 46 oil blocks.

Eastern Africa holds great potential, experts say. Tullow Oil Kenya has said Kenya’s oil potential could exceed that of Uganda, which holds oil reserves of 2.2 billion barrels, the government estimates.

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