Africa-focused Tullow Oil reported Monday that the Mbawa-1 exploration well, currently being drilled by Apache Corporation offshore Kenya, has encountered gas in its shallowest objective.
Mbawa-1, located in the L8 license, has so far been drilled to a depth of 8,375 feet and it has encountered approximately 170 feet of net gas pay in porous Cretaceous sandstones. The well will now be drilled to a total depth of 10,745 feet.
The news will be seen as a further piece of evidence that East Africa is on its way to becoming a significant oil and gas region.
Tullow Exploration Director Angus McCoss commented in a company statement:
"This is the first hydrocarbon discovery offshore Kenya. The on-going drilling remains on course to test for any deeper oil potential within this gas prone region."
Meanwhile, energy sector analysts who follow Tullow for London-based investment bank FoxDavies Capital commented in a research note that the success of the Mbawa-1 well "will go a long way in establishing the company's East African Transform Margin exploration campaign".
Apache is the operator of the offshore Block L8 with a 50-percent interest. Tullow holds a 15-percent interest.
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