Pancontinental finds first offshore oil in East Africa
Pancontinental Oil and Gas NL has verified that the recently completed Sunbird-1 well off the southern Kenyan coast has intersected an oil column – the first oil ever discovered off the East African coast.
PERTH, Australia – Pancontinental Oil and Gas NL (ASX: PCL) has verified that the recently completed Sunbird-1 well off the southern Kenyan coast has intersected an oil column – the first oil ever discovered off the East African coast.
The gross oil column is assessed to be 14 m (46 ft) thick beneath a gross gas column of 29.6 m (97 ft) in a reefal limestone reservoir in the Sunbird Miocene Pinnacle Reef in area L10A. The Sunbird Reef is an ancient Miocene pinnacle reef buried beneath 900 m (2,953 ft) of younger sediment.
The corresponding net values are 9.2 m (30 ft) for the oil zone and 28.3 m (93 ft) for the gas zone. The net values are calculated for the reservoir using cut-offs of 10% porosity (Phi) and 50% shale volume (Vsh).
Pancontinental believes the results are significant because they are the first proof of a prospective oil system in the Lamu basin offshore Kenya. The oil and gas have been geochemically typed in detail and the prospective source rocks have been dated and characterized for use in future exploration. Analysis of the Sunbird results has been complicated by the loss of drilling mud, seawater, and remedial cement pumped into the limestone reservoir during drilling operations.
Pancontinental has an 18.75% interest in the well and block L10A. Pancontinental has three extensive exploration areas in this prospective basin, covering a total area of 15,000 sq km (5,792 sq mi), including L10A.
The operator of the block L10A petroleum sharing contract, BG Group, is continuing to analyze the well data and will recommend a future exploration program using the well results.
Pancontinental CEO Barry Rushworth said that the implications of the Sunbird-1 well results for regional oil exploration are outstanding.
“The Sunbird-1 oil is the historic first-ever oil discovery offshore Kenya,” Rushworth said. “Furthermore, it is the only offshore oil column ever reported seaward of the eastern coastal margin of the African continent, from South Africa to the northwest tip of Somalia. We believe that this is a play-opening discovery in Kenya’s Lamu basin. Because of the Sunbird discovery, we expect to see a significant increase in industry interest offshore Kenya.”