Apache, the operator of L8 consortium, is gearing up for drilling an offshore well located in Block L8 in Kenya.
As prevously reported, the drilling operation is expected to start this month. The Mbawa prospect will be drilled with the modern deepwater drillship Deepsea Metro 1.
The well is expected to take some 45 to 60 days to complete to a planned total depth of 3,250m subsea in water depth of 860m.
In an e-mail sent to Reuters, Barry Rushworth, CEO of Pancontinental Oil and Gas, Apache’s partner in the licence, said that spudding of the Mbawa prospect was imminent.
While offshore East Africa has the potential to become one of the world’s foremost LNG producing regions, in the northern part of the East African margin Pancontinental predicts that offshore Kenya will prove to be oil-prone rather than gas-prone.
“We are pursuing what we see as a major oil play rather than a gas play offshore Kenya and we are doing the same offshore Namibia. The economics of oil developments are often far better than those for gas, with potential for much earlier cash flow and much lower development costs compared to LNG, for example.” said Rushworth in an interview recently.
Pancontinental estimates that the Mbawa Prospect has potential to contain more than 4.9 Billion Barrels of oil.
Oil and gas companies have shown increased interest in Kenya’s hydrocarbon wealth potential. Italy’s Eni in July marked its entry into the country by signing three PSCs for blocks located in the deep waters of the Lamu Basin, off the coast of Kenya. Also, French supermajor Total in late June 2012 signed a PSC with Kenyan government for Block L22.
U.S. independent Anadarko, and British BG also expect to spud their wells offshore Kenya by 2012 end.
Offshore Energy Today Staff, August 12, 2012