East Africa shows considerable oil-producing potential - exec

20 February 2013 19:30  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS)--East Africa is an area of great promise for oil and natural gas exploration, with governments displaying a “can do” attitude, said a key speaker at the International Petroleum (IP) Week conference on Wednesday.

Tullow Oil general manager of exploration Chris Flavell said there is significant optimism in the company that east Africa holds large oil reserves.

Speaking at the end of the last day of the conference, Flavell said that after drilling success in Ghana and Uganda, the focus has moved to Kenya, where flow testing is currently being carried out.

When the company started explorations in Uganda, many thought their chances of extracting oil were limited, Flavell added. “We estimated there was an 8% chance of success. Now, 86 wells later, 78 are successful.”

With this knowledge, exploration continued into Kenya, and with an exploration area of 73,689 square kilometres – just under the size of England – the outlook for oil extraction is promising.

Flavell said doing business in the east African region has been positive, since the Kenyan government has adopted a “can do” attitude towards oil exploration.

He concedes that finding local, highly trained oil industry employees is difficult, but inroads are being made. Tullow Oil has a program to support students in the countries it operates in with postgraduate degrees, technical training and vocational studies at leading universities in the UK.

Tullow, which focuses on exploration in Africa, posted its year-end financial results last week showing a pre-tax profit increase of 4% to nearly $1.12bn (€840m).

($1 = €0.75)

By: Kate Wilcock
+44 208 652 3214

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