British oil company Tullow Oil has said exploration success in Kenya has added impetus to its exploration-led growth strategy for 2013.
Tullow, in an operational update and trading statement ahead of its 2012 full-year results in February, said it accomplished much in 2012, with the clear highlight being having established Kenya as a new oil nation with two frontier discoveries at Ngamia-1 and Twiga South-1.
"We have had significant exploration success in establishing Kenya as a new hydrocarbon province and continued to add to and mature our exploration portfolio," chief executive Aidan Heavey said.
It now plans up to 11 further exploration and appraisal wells in Kenya and Ethiopia in its drilling schedule this year following discovery of the major oil basin in Kenya with its first two exploration wells.
The planned exploration and appraisal wells include the "high risk Paipai-1 wildcat in Block 10A which is currently in the top seal of the main objective at a depth of 3,850 metres." It expects result in February.
It has also commenced a testing programme at Twiga South-1 to build up knowledge of the natural variance in reservoir performance. It expects to complete this next month as well.
"Test flow rates are not expected to exceed 500 bopd (barrels of oil per day) per interval due to limits of the test equipment, reservoir energy and reservoir quality," it said.
Five tests are planned, with three in the Upper Lokhone reservoir. Operations thereafter will include drilling Etuko-1 well on what was formerly known as the Kamba prospect, and flow testing Ngamia-1.
Tullow owns 50 per cent interest on all its prospects and wells in Kenya, including those it will spud between the first and last quarters of 2013.
It said the discoveries, its successful exploration in Uganda, and recent major offshore gas discoveries by its industry peers have established East Africa "as an exciting new energy region."
The company said it achieved a 72 per cent exploration and appraisal success ratio (33 wells out of 46), despite certain recent dry holes. "Tullow is now well positioned for a very successful 2013 and growth beyond," Heavey said.
The company plans over 40 exploration and appraisal wells in 2013 targeting a mean one billion barrels of oil in Kenya, French Guiana, Mauritania, Ethiopia, Norway and Mozambique.
The oil exploration company said its group contingent resources have been enhanced by the inclusion of new resources after initial discoveries in Kenya and Côte d'Ivoire and appraisal success in Uganda.