American oil and gas company ERHC Energy Inc. has joined the race for Kenya’s oil prospects after signing a production sharing contract with the Kenyan Government on Block 11A in northwestern Kenya.

The Block is ERHC’s first exploration acreage in East Africa and further diversifies the company’s portfolio of oil and gas assets, which also includes deep-water interests in the Gulf of Guinea and onshore Blocks in Chad.

The 2.95 million acres block is situated on Kenya’s border with South Sudan to the north, Block 11B and Lake Turkana to the east and near Kenya’s border with Uganda to the west. The Block is in the vicinity of Block 10BB in which significant oil discoveries have recently been announced.

“We are building on past successes and leveraging ERHC’s unique advantages in Africa to dynamically grow our exploration acreages and build shareholder value,” said ERHC President and CEO Peter Ntephe in a release.

According to ERHC Energy, the proximity and in-trend relationship between the Lotikipi plain and the Abu Gabra Rift basins of southern Sudan suggest high oil and gas prospects.

Following the discovery of oil in Kenya early this year, exploration activities in the country have intensified with more foreign firms seeking rights to explore.

“Competition for exploration acreages in Kenya is currently high and we are delighted that ERHC has been awarded the rights to explore one of the highly prospective Blocks. We look forward to working closely with the Government and people of Kenya on a mutually beneficial exploration program.” said Ntephe.

East Africa is emerging as a hub for oil and gas exploration following the discovery of over 1 billion barrels of recoverable oil in Uganda’s Block 1 (EA1), the Ngamia-1 oil discovery in Kenya, which is estimated to be bigger than the Ugandan discovery, and large gas discoveries, including the recent Zafarani find, offshore Tanzania.

ERHC currently has working interests in Chad, including the BDS 2008 and Manga Blocks and half of Chari-Ouest Block 3.

The Company also holds working interests in six Blocks in the Nigeria-São Tome & Príncipe Joint Development Zone (JDZ) as well as 100 percent of Blocks 4 and 11 of the São Tome & Príncipe Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) with an option to acquire up to 15 percent working interests in two other EEZ Blocks.


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