UK exploration company Tullow Oil has encountered around 75m of net oil deposits at an exploration well in Northern Kenya.

The company found the new deposits at the Emekuya-1 well in Block 13T after drilling a depth of 1,356m and penetrated reservoir quality Miocene sandstones, which correlate to those seen at another Etom-2 well, where oil deposits were discovered earlier.

Objective of the Emekuya-1 was to drill a fault block on the flank of the Greater Etom structure.

Tullow Oil operates Blocks 13T and 10BB with a 50% stake. Its partners are Africa Oil and Maersk Oil, each having 25% stakes in the two blocks.

Tullow Oil exploration director Angus Mccoss said the Emekuya-1 exploratory appraisal well has proven oil charge across a significant part of the Greater Etom structure and we are very encouraged by the quality and particularly the regional extent of the reservoir.

“We now look forward to the remainder of the Kenya exploration and appraisal campaign in support of the ongoing work to prepare this important asset for Full Field Development.”

The company said the main oil reservoir is on the same static pressure gradient as the Etom-2 well, going by the measurements of the downhole pressure and fluid samples. This indicates that a significant portion of the Greater Etom structure is filled with oil, said the UK-based global oil and gas exploration company.

According to Tullow Oil, the reservoir sands encountered by the drill seem to be extensive. This, the explorer says will de-risk the northern play area further while making a potential case for more exploration in the region in the future.

Africa Oil CEO Keith Hill said: "We are very pleased to continue our 100% success rate in the current program as we continue to build resources to enhance our ongoing development program. The four additional wells planned as well as the water flood pilot project will further allow us to better define the size and scope of the development."

In December 2015, Tullow Oil made an oil discovery in Block 13T when the Etom-2 well encountered 102m of net oil play in two columns. In Block 10BB, the company had completed the Ngamia Extended Well Test, producing around 38,000 barrels of oil.

Image: Tullow Oil’s exploration activities in Greater Etom structure in Kenya. Photo: courtesy of TULLOW OIL PLC.