Pancontinental Oil and Gas NL reported June 17 that, after lengthy analysis, it has been verified that the recently completed Sunbird-1 well in area L10A off the southern Kenyan coast has intersected an oil column – the first-ever oil discovered off the East African coast.
The gross oil column is assessed to be 46 feet (14 meters) thick beneath a gross gas column of 97 feet (29.6 meters) in a reefal limestone reservoir in the Sunbird Miocene Pinnacle Reef in area L10A.
The corresponding net values are 30 feet (9.2 meters) for the oil zone and 92 feet (28.3 meters) for the gas zone. The net values are calculated for the reservoir using cut-offs of 10 percent porosity (Phi) and 50 percent shale volume (Vsh). Oil and gas samples have been recovered and analyzed using sophisticated geochemical techniques.
The Sunbird Reef is an ancient Miocene pinnacle reef buried beneath approximately 2,952 feet (900 meters) of younger sediment.
Pancontinental believes the results are highly significant because they are the first proof of the presence 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 percent interest in the well and block L10A. Pancontinental has three extensive exploration areas in this highly prospective Basin covering a total area of approximately 5,791 square miles (15,000 square kilometers), including L10A.
The detailed oil and gas geochemical data, which are confidential to the L10A Joint Venture partners, give the age and type of the oil source rocks, as well as other crucial data that Pancontinental believes places the L10A Joint Venture in a leading position to find commercial oil offshore Kenya.
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’s CEO Barry Rushworth said the implications of the Sunbird-1 well results for regional oil exploration were truly 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.”