Tullow Oil has announced the suspension of the Paipai-1 exploration well in Kenya for further evaluation.
The well, located in Block 10A within Marsabit County has been drilled to a total depth of 4,255metres and details well recorded.
Exploration Director at Tullow Oil, Angus McCoss, said the well needs additional assessment which will include evaluation of all the data collected so far and review of available technical options, which may include possible flow testing and reservoir stimulation.
"Light hydrocarbon shows were encountered whilst drilling a 55 metre thick gross sandstone interval. This sandstone is overlain by a 200 metre thick source rock which forms an effective regional top seal. Several attempts to sample the initial reservoir fluids were unsuccessful and the hydrocarbons encountered whilst drilling were not recovered to surface," McCoss said.
After operations are suspended at Paipai, the rig will move to the South Lokichar Basin in Block 10BB and drill the Etuko prospect in the undrilled basin, a process expected to take three months.
"From a frontier exploration perspective, we can already conclude that this part of the Anza Basin has the makings of a viable Cretaceous hydrocarbon play. Consequently, we will also be reviewing the follow-up cretaceous prospects. Meanwhile, our exploration activities are accelerating in our core oil campaign in the Tertiary rift basins of Kenya and Ethiopia," McCoss said.
Last month, Tullow oil had said that it was experiencing some challenges in drilling the well due to what they termed as difficult hole conditions.
The latest news comes even after the firm announced that oil deposits in Twiga South-1 were showing signs of being commercially viable after four tests were carried out between January and February this year.
Tullow has a 50 percent operated interest in the Paipai-1 well, Block 10A, with Africa Oil holding 30 percent and Afren holding the remaining 20percent.
Tullow's acreage in Kenya and Ethiopia includes Blocks 10A, 10BA, 10BB, 12A, 12B and 13T in Kenya and the South Omo Block in Ethiopia which together cover around 100,000 sq km.