Canada-based oil and gas company Africa Oil has temporarily halted the Paipai-1 exploration well in Kenya to further assess the data.

The Paipai-1 exploration well located in the Marsabit County of Kenya Block 10A was drilled to a total depth of 4,225m to examine a large structural closure of cretaceous age in the Anza Basin. The well was successfully logged.

Africa Oil encountered light hydrocarbon shows during the drilling of a 55m thick gross sandstone interval, which is overlain by a 200m thick cretaceous source rock and intersected oil and gas shows throughout.

However, the company’s attempts to sample reservoir fluids were unsuccessful and the hydrocarbons found during the drilling were not recovered to surface.

Also, due to the unavailability of testing equipments that can handle higher reservoir pressures, the well had to be suspended temporarily for the pending data evaluation.

Africa Oil president and CEO Keith Hill said the results of the well are encouraging and appear to demonstrate a working petroleum
system indicating the Anza Basin has the potential of a viable cretaceous hydrocarbon play.

"This result has positive implications not only for our Block 10A acreage, but also in Block 9 where we are preparing to drill a similar, albeit shallower, prospect with our partner Marathon," Hill added.

"If this result is confirmed by testing, it would be a strong addition to our already proven Tertiary rift play to the west."

Africa Oil has 30% interest in the exploration well, where as Tullow has 50% operated interest and Afren owns the remaining 20%.