Kenya fails to find oil in offshore block claimed by Somalia

Nairobi (Raxanreeb ) Kenya has failed to strike oil and gas deposits in the coastal strip that has for years been at the centre of an international border dispute with neighbouring Somalia.

Seismic surveys at Mlima-1 well, which is known as Block L11B in the Lamu Basin, revealed that the wells were dry, ending a 10-year search for oil in the coastline that had emerged as one of the world’s hottest exploration prospects.

The Energy and Petroleum Regulatory Authority (Epra) said that ENI Kenya Business Venture (BV), formerly Agip, folded the project before mid this year after it failed to trace deposits of oil and gas in the area.

It granted Eni the exploration permit in 2012 amid protests from Somalia’s government that Kenya was offering the blocks illegally.

Kenya stepped up exploration activities in the Lamu Basin in December last year, weeks after rejecting a UN court ruling that decided mostly in favour of Somalia in the maritime row.

“There was promising activity but unfortunately, they (ENI) hit a dry well and they had to close the operations,’’ Epra said.

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