Australia-based Pancontinental Oil and Gas and its partners have struck deposits of natural gas on a Kenyan offshore block, the company has announced.
Pancontinental said on Monday it had encountered about 52 net metres (Approximately 170 feet) of natural gas on Mbawa 1 block L8, off the east Africa nation’s coast.
“While we have not finished operations in Mbawa 1, this gas discovery is very promising and it is the first ever substantive hydrocarbon discovery offshore Kenya. We are delighted to prove that there is a working hydrocarbon system offshore Kenya. Further work continues to evaluate the size of the discovery,” Pancontinental CEO Barry Rushworth said in a statement.
“With drilling continuing to a deeper exploration target, these interim results may be the first part of the story in this well, and they are certainly just the beginning of the main story of oil and gas exploration offshore Kenya.”
Block L8 is run a joint venture comprising Apache Corporation (50 per cent), Origin Energy Limited (20 per cent), Tullow Kenya BV (15per cent) and Pancontinental (15 per cent).
Exploration interest in Kenya has increased recently after oil and gas explorer Tullow Oil and its partner Africa Oil encountered huge potential reserves of oil in a well they are drilling in Block 10 BB.
Kenya and its neighbours in east Africa, as well as the Horn of the continent, have become a hot spot for oil and gas exploration in recent years, spurred by new finds in countries including Uganda, Tanzania and Mozambique.
Tanzania has discovered vast reserves of natural gas and it already uses it to generate electricity and to power industries. Further south, Mozambique has also discovered large deposits of the gas.