Kenya & Ethiopia

Following the excellent start to its Rift Basin exploration campaign in Kenya with the discovery of over 100 metres of net oil pay in the first exploration well, Ngamia-1 in Block 10BB, Tullow commenced drilling the Twiga South-1 exploration well in August 2012. The well is located 22km north of Ngamia in the adjacent Block 13T and is testing a new structure in the same, Tertiary aged, geological basin as Ngamia. On 31 October 2012, Tullow announced that oil had been encountered in the Twiga South-1 well and that further details will follow after the well has reached Total Depth (TD) and a full set of wireline logs have been run. These activities are expected to be completed in the coming weeks and a testing programme on the Twiga South-1 and Ngamia-1 wells is being considered.

Following the Ngamia-1 success, a decision was taken to accelerate the exploration programme and consequently two additional rigs have been contracted for operations in Kenya and Ethiopia. The Paipai-1 well commenced drilling in Block 10A onshore Kenya in September 2012 and is currently drilling toward the planned TD of 4,500 metres to test a deeper Cretaceous age basin. In Ethiopia, a rig is currently being mobilised to drill the Sabisa-1 well in the South Omo block, which is expected to commence in late December 2012.

Significant seismic activity has continued across the acreage during the period. In Ethiopia, 1,000km of 2D seismic was completed and the acquisition of a further 500km of 2D commenced in the Chew B’hir region of the South Omo block. In Kenya, a further 2,000km 2D seismic programme is currently being acquired in Blocks 13T, 10BA and 10BB. Additionally, an airborne gravity and magnetic survey has been acquired in the 12B licence. The exploration team continues to study many leads and prospects within the 100,000 sq km of acreage that Tullow operates in Kenya and Ethiopia with over 100 leads and prospects already identified.


In offshore Kenya Block L8, the Mbawa-1 exploration well result was announced in September 2012 after encountering approximately 52 metres of net gas pay in the shallower primary target. This is the first hydrocarbon discovery offshore Kenya and clearly demonstrates a working petroleum system. Although the deeper targets at this location were unsuccessful, and the well has been plugged and abandoned, these results will be instrumental in evaluating the remaining oil prospectivity of this block.