Britain's Tullow says makes new oil find in Kenya

Wed Mar 16, 2016 4:16am EDT
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NAIROBI, March 16 (Reuters) - Britain's Tullow Oil said on Wednesday it had made an oil discovery in Kenya, which could mean opening up a second oil basin for development in the country south of finds already made.

The East African nation and neighbouring Uganda have both made oil finds that have yet to start commercial production, part of a string of energy discoveries along the east coast of Africa.

"The first well in the Kerio Valley Basin, Cheptuket-1, has encountered good oil shows across a gross interval of over 700 metres," Tullow said in a statement about the new find.

"We believe this encouraging initial result has the potential to open up a second prolific basin in Kenya," it said, although it added that the pace of follow-up activity was "set to be modest".

Low oil prices have prompted international oil firms to reduce spending on exploration and development.

A Kenyan government official had earlier said an announcement would be made on Wednesday about a new oil discovery in Kenya, but had not given details.

Tullow is working with partners Africa Oil and A.P. Moller-Maersk to develop finds in the South Lokichar Basin in northwest Kenya, where recoverable reserves have been put at an estimated 600 million barrels.

(Reporting by Edmund Blair and Duncan Miriri; editing by Jason Neely)