British oil and gas firm Tullow Oil Plc with Canadian partner Africa Oil Corp on Saturday began drilling its third well in Marsabit County, north of Kenya, in an explorative move to find more reserves after discovering oil in the east African country in March.

According to Africa Oil, the well – Paipai-1 – which would have a depth of 4,112 metres, could have as many as 121 million barrels of crude oil.

Keith Hill, Africa Oil’s chief executive, said in a statement that a discovery at the new well would “open a potentially significant and new petroleum province within Kenya,” however oil discovery is uncertain. Africa Oil’s partner Tullow, hopes the digging will produce oil, rather than gas.

The British operator holds a 50 percent stake in the joint operating license of the Paipai-1 on onshore Block 10A, with Africa Oil and the LSE-listed Afren possessing a 30 percent and 20 percent respectively.

Following major petroleum discoveries in Congo, Uganda, Ethiopia and Kenya, east Africa has become a beehive of drilling activites.

According to Reuters, Tullow is already drilling another well in Kenya, known as Twiga-1, on Block 13T, about 30 kilometres west of where the explorer first discovered oil in the country.

In May, Kenya announced Tullow discovered more oil in its Ngamia-1 well onshore in Block 10BB, however, it is yet to determine the commercially viability of its hydrocarbons.


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