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Kenya's oil deposits could hit 1 billion barrels

20 September 2014, 10:45

Nairobi - Kenya's recoverable oil reserves in the country's tertiary rift basin is likely to exceed one billion barrels, the ministry of energy and petroleum said on Friday.

Cabinet Secretary for Energy and Petroleum David Chirchir said the four recently discovered oil wells that were drilled by Tullow Kenya in the Lokichar sub-basin have raised the country's recoverable oil reserves from 300 million barrels to 600 million.

"However, with further appraisal drilling which is currently on- going, the recoverable reserves are likely to be in excess of billion barrels in the Tertiary Rift Basin alone," Chirchir said in a statement issued in Nairobi.

"These positive developments indicate that Kenya could become a significant oil producer," Chirchir said.

"In readiness for the commercialization of the oil, the ministry is fast tracking the construction of the Uganda-Kenya oil crude pipeline," the official said.

He noted the construction of a new Nairobi to Mombasa oil pipeline will be completed in the next 18 months.

The East African nation has already made a gas discovery in the Anza Basin in northwest Kenya that is capable of producing approximately one trillion cubic feet of gas.

Read also: CBK says in market to mop up 10 bln shillings

Chirchir said Kenya is seeking to enhance and diversify national power generation by identifying new supply sources.

"The government plans to expand electricity production capacity to ten gigawatts by 2024 and eventual to 25 gigawatts by 2030," he said.

Principal Secretary for Energy and Petroleum Joseph Njoroge said the rural electrification program will be funded by the sale of state energy assets.

"We intend to reach every village through small renewable energy projects such as solar panels and wind turbines," he said, adding the government is encouraging Public Private Partnership projects in order to plug the energy deficiency.

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