The East African hunt for oil and gas found its pay-off this week with a significant gas finding off the coast of Kenya.
The discovery, made at the Mbawa-1 exploration well is the first significant finding of its kind in Africa. Apache, the operator of the offshore Block L8 well made the announcement on Monday, along with partners Tullow Oil UK, Origin Energy and Pancontinental, stating that the gas was found at their shallowest objective.
Apache announced the 52 metres of gas they’ve found was encountered after drilling just 2,553 metres down. It’s been reported that the exploration team have said the find is an ‘encouraging start’ as drilling continues at the well as the team target an oil discovery at the Mbawa-1 well.
Shares have reacted to the discovery, with Pancontinental reporting a gain of 91%, its biggest since 1993.
For East Africa this new discovery will hopefully capture the attention of some of the oil and gas majors, who have ignored their reserves for a long time. In recent times East Africa has become a highly active exploration area, with companies like BG Group involved with the discovery of 100 trillion cubic feet of gas. It’s a promising start, but it’s an oil find the industry is crossing its fingers for at the moment.