BY: Isaack Nyakundi
Pancontinetal an Australian Oli prospecting company that is carrying out drilling off the Kenyan Coast announced Monday morning that it encountered approximately 52 net metresÂ (about 190feet) of natural gas bay at the Mbawa deep-water well.
â€œThe Mbawa 1 well has encountered approximately 52 net metres (approx. 170 feet) of natural gas pay in porous Cretaceous sandstones. The Mbawa 1 exploration well was drilled to a depth of 2,553m RT (below the drill floor), at which point wireline logs, fluid samples and sidewall cores were acquired from the well,â€ said Mr Barry Rushworth, Pancontinental Chief Executive and Director said in a statement.
The reservoir and fluid parameters will become available as logs and sample analyses are yet to be completed the company said.
The company will continue with drilling targeting 3,275 metres.
â€œWhile 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,â€ Mr Rushworth said.
The firm however said that more work needed to be done to evaluate the scale of the discovery and analysis of commercial viability.
â€œWith 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,â€ Mr Rushworth said.
The discovery comes in less than a year since Kenya struck oil in Turkana County. 2012 could be the year of a start of economic transformation if scale is good for export.