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Oil exploration promoted economic development of Kenya

         Date: 2012-03-24

           Tag: Kenya economic, Kenya economic development

Summary: Kenya the ongoing mineral resource exploration is expected to drive the next face of the east African nation’s s ambitious economic transformation.

Kenya  the ongoing mineral resource exploration is expected to drive the next face of the east African nation’s s ambitious economic transformation.

Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka told an international conference on mining underway in Nairobi that discoveries of oil, coal and gas among other minerals will give Kenya sufficient resources to industrialize.

Kenya is currently mapping oil exploration blocks in the deep sea to create seven new oil blocks as the East African nation steps up the hunt for the black gold.

The East African nation has never made any substantive commercial oil discoveries despite ongoing oil exploration that started in the East African nation in the early 1930s and later picked off in the 1950s.

Oil exploration blocks in the semi-desert areas of Mandera in northern Kenya were largely abandoned after explorers failed to discover commercial quantities of oil in the northern frontier.

Kenya’s Anza Basin, which has a total of 12 oil exploration blocks, appears to be the most explored, followed by two other wells in Mandera, where two wells have been dug to view the surface.

The three-day meeting brings together delegates from the ministries of energy, water and environment from all continents among other dignitaries.

Musyoka added that it is a foregone conclusion that Kenya has extensive coal deposits in the Muui basin of Kitui county, iron ore in parts of Eastern regions and Upper Coast and a host of other exhaustible resources including semi-precious stones spread all over the country.

Energy ministry officials remain optimistic about possible oil finds following the ongoing exploration by Tullow, a British firm, which is also engaged in activities around the Mandera region.

Exploration experts say the semi-arid regions of northern and north-eastern Kenya, have the curvy rocks, formed millions of years back, when the region was an ocean.

The creation of the deep sea blocks is meant to attract new investors into the country, especially along the Indian Ocean.

The Tertiary Basin, another potential oil zone, has eight potential oil blocks. The region measures 100,000 square km, while the Anza Basin measures 80,000 square km.

Assistant minister for Environment, Seif Kajembe in a speech read on his behalf by the Acting Commissioner of Mines, Moses Masibo said that the country earned over 1 million U.S. dollars from exploitation of minerals.

Kajembe assured that a Bill on Minerals and Mining policy will soon be tabled in Parliament, saying plans to acquire more drilling rigs in order to improve mining were at an advanced stage.

Kenya has attracted 12 international oil exploration firms. The 13th firm, whose identity has not been disclosed, was licensed on Dec. 1, 2011, while the state-run National Oil Corporation (NOCK) has been allocated a single oil exploration block to prospect for the commodity.

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