Republic of Kenya

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Every two (2) years, the East African Community Partner States organize a Conference and Exhibition on the Petroleum Potential and Investment Opportunities in East Africa. The East African Petroleum Conference & Exhibition (EAPCE) is recognized globally as a premier international forum for those working in the upstream petroleum sector. Participants include oil companies, researchers, investors, service providers, academia and financiers among others. Participants exchange ideas and information about recent developments in the region, learn about new investment opportunities and share lessons learnt.

The East African Partner States will host the 10th East African Petroleum Conference and Exhibition 2023 (EAPCE‘23) on the Petroleum Potential and Investment Opportunities in East Africa in Kampala, Uganda, from 9th to 11th  May 2023. For the three (3) days, Kampala will become the place for the oil and gas industry players to gather, collaborate, conduct business and experience the showcasing of achievements in the sector under the theme: "East Africa as a hub for Investment in Exploration and Exploitation of Petroleum Resources for Sustainable Energy and Socioeconomic Development.”

The East African Region has a total of 28 prospective sedimentary basins with over 37 International Oil and Gas Companies licensed in the region to date. The petroleum resources discovered in the East African region is estimated at 2 billion barrels of oil in place and 3tcf of natural gas. Additional resources continue to be discovered by aggressive exploration programmes in the region.

Each of the previous nine Conferences has been more than just an international conference for it has integrated cultural & touristic dimensions unique to East Africa. EAPCE’23 will, like the previous conferences, provide participants with not only the opportunity to assess the developments in the petroleum upstream sector in East Africa, but also to explore the many and varied attractions of this large region that is known in Africa for its unique and diverse beauty.

EAPCE’23 will feature an exceptional program of technical papers, research posters with an impressive line up of invited speakers and panel participants together with innovative exhibitions. Immediately before and after the Conference there will be a diverse range of opportunities for delegates to enjoy geological field excursions and tours of wildlife conservation areas.

 

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Often called “The Heart of Africa” and covers an area of 27,834km2. Burundi is landlocked and borders with Rwanda, Tanzania and Democratic Republic of Congo, thus forming part of the Central African Region.

Various studies have been conducted since 1959 for petroleum exploration both on the Rusizi Basin and in the Lake Tanganyika Basin. These basins are part of the East African Rift System and are located between Burundi, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Tanzania and Zambia.


This Rift System is dated from Cenozoic (Tertiary) and is divided into two branches the eastern arm and the western arm. The Lake Tanganyika and the plain of Rusizi belong to the western branch which consists of sedimentary basins marked by deep Lakes (Malawi, Tanganyika).

In Burundi, these basins cover an area of 2,968.1km2. Geological studies, gravimetric, aeromagnetic and seismic surveys have been conducted in the two basins and the average sediments thickness is estimated to be more than 3,000 meters.

 

Burundi map of proposed blocks of Petroleum exploration
Burundi map of proposed blocks of Petroleum Exploration



The exploration areas of Rusizi and Lake Tanganyika basins have been divided into four blocks: A (793.1km2), B (697.1km2), C (664 km2) and D (813.4 km2).

Block A is on Rusizi Basin which is onshore while blocks B, C and D are offshore in Lake Tanganyika basin from North to South respectively.
 
The Government of Burundi continues to encourage oil companies to invest in petroleum exploration. It is also reviewing the Petroleum Code dated 1976 for attracting more investors. Blocks C & D were granted to A-Z Petroleum Products Limited and Surestream Petroleum Limited respectively for exploration. However, with the fall of crude prices, fieldwork on these blocks was suspended. The four blocks are currently open and available to potential investors.

 

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The Republic of Kenya is bisected by the Equator and East longitude 38o. It borders the Indian Ocean to the southeast, Somalia to the East, Ethiopia to the North, South Sudan to the Northwest, Uganda to the West, and Tanzania to the south. From the coastal margin, the low plains ascend to the central highlands. The Kenyan highlands comprise successful agricultural regions with climatic conditions varying from tropical along the coast to temperate inland to arid in the north and northeastern regions. It covers an area of 582,646km2 with a population of over 40 million people and a Real Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is estimated to have grown by 7.5 per cent in 2021 compared to a contraction of 0.3 per cent in 2020. The major sectors contributing to the GDP growth are agriculture, tourism, manufacturing, transport, communication, and fishing among others.

Kenya is endowed with diverse wildlife and thus a considerable acreage of land has been devoted to wildlife conservation habitats. These habitats include the famous Maasai Mara and Tsavo National Park. All the Big Five animals of Africa are found within these habitats.

 

Location map of Kenya
Location map of Kenya



Regionally, The East African Rift system bisects Kenya North-South with the drainage patterns being a function of the surface relief manifestation. Generally, most rivers drain to Indian Ocean, Lake Victoria, and Lake Turkana.

Kenya has four (4) sedimentary basins namely: Lamu, Anza, Mandera and Tertiary Rift covering an area of approximate 500,000km2. Exploration started in Kenya in the 1950s. The sedimentary basins are subdivided into 63 petroleum exploration blocks out of which 20 are licensed to 10 international oil companies while one is licensed to the National Oil Corporation of Kenya (NOCK). Forty (40) blocks are open for licensing to investors for oil and gas exploration.

 

 

Current Activities

 

Exploration Activities

Currently, exploration activities are ongoing both in the onshore and offshore blocks, albeit in a reduced phase due to the fall in crude prices. To date, over 80,000-line km of 2D seismic data and approximately 10,000km2 of 3D seismic data has been acquired across the various blocks. A total of 94 wells have been drilled. Most of the wells drilled so far are exploratory with a few being appraisal wells, mostly in the South Lokichar Sub-Basin of the Tertiary Rift Basin where oil discoveries have been made by Tullow Oil B.V. The Field Development Plan for Block 10BB and 13T in the South Lokichar Basin is currently under review. Other areas with oil and gas discoveries include offshore Lamu Basin in Block L8 drilled by Apache Energy Ltd (gas discovery) and Block L10A drilled by BG Group (oil and gas discovery).

Petroleum Exploration Block Map
Petroleum Exploration Block Map

 

The Ministry of Petroleum and Mining plans to conduct bid round licensing of the open shallow offshore blocks of the Lamu Basin in the near future. In readiness for this, the Ministry signed a contract with ION Geophysical for a 3D Seismic Multi-Client data acquisition program for shallow offshore in March 2021. The company will carry out two seismic projects; one covers new 3D acquisition in the offshore Lamu Basin, the second involves the re-imaging of vintage data. ION will carry out the multi-client work with BGP on the north and south of the Basin.

Midstream Project

To support the South Lokichar development, The Government of Kenya (GOK) entered into a Joint Development Agreement (JDA) with Tullow Kenya B.V., Africa Oil and TOTAL (formerly Maersk) for the development of a crude oil export pipeline system to transport stabilised crude oil from the Lokichar Central Processing Facility (CPF) in the South Lokichar Basin to the new port of Lamu, Kenya.

 

Map of multiclient 3D seismic acquisition area
Map of multiclient 3D seismic acquisition area

 

This export pipeline system is known as the Lokichar to Lamu Crude Oil Pipeline (LLCOP) project and will follow the LAPSET corridor. The proposed 24’’ pipeline is designed for a flow rate of 130 kbopd. This equates to an annualised flow rate of 120 kbopd when allowances are made for downtime/availability in the CPF or the pipeline system. The project is at the project development stage (Pre-FID stage). Front End Engineering Design (FEED) was completed; however, it has been updated with respect to the revised development concept. ESIA was completed and approved by NEMA. Conversations on the pipeline are being carried out alongside the South Lokichar Basin FDP.

Mwananchi Gas Project: Liquified Petroleum Gas Distribution

In the downstream sector, the Government has initiated a project dubbed, ‘The Mwananchi Gas Project”.

This is an initiative by the Ministry whose objectives are: -

  1. Reduce use of biomass and kerosene as the primary source of household cooking fuels
  2. To facilitate access of LPG to low-income households.
  3. To enhance LPG penetration in the country
  4. Scale-up uptake of LPG from 10% to 70%

 

Lokichar-Lamu crude oil pipeline route
Lokichar-Lamu crude oil pipeline route

 

The Ministry has so far procured over 100,000 6kg cylinders and sufficient accessories to begin the roll-out of both models.

The project will be rolled out in two models. Model 1 will distribute 6kg LPG-filled cylinders fitted with burners and grills. In the first phase of this model, 60,000 units will be distributed to eligible beneficiaries at the subsidized cost of Sh. 1,950/unit across the 11 sub-counties of Nairobi County. In the next phase, the focus of distribution will be country wide. Model 2 will entail the distribution of 6kg cylinders fitted with a compact valve and accessorized with a 1.5 m hose pipe, 2-burner table-top cooker, and a smart meter. As with Model 1, Model 2 will be piloted in Nairobi County and thereafter be enhanced to cover the rest of the country.

The smart meter will help beneficiaries to monitor their consumption and at the same time mimic their daily fuel consumption by allowing the purchase of LPG amounts that the beneficiary can afford. The Ministry in collaboration with National Oil Corporation of Kenya in the process of rolling out Phase 1 of the project which entails distribution of cylinder, grill, and burner at subsidized price. This will take place in all the eleven (11) sub counties of Nairobi County.

 

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The country of thousand hills and green forests, Rwanda is situated in East Africa and located at the western branch of the great East Africa rift known as the Albertine Rift. The country is bordered by Uganda, Tanzania, Burundi, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Rwanda’s stunning scenery and warm, friendly people offer unique experiences in one of the most remarkable countries in the world. It is blessed with extraordinary biodiversity, with incredible wildlife living throughout its volcanoes, montane rainforest, sweeping plains and numerous lakes throughout the country.

The west of Rwanda that touches the rift valley has many unique, endemic species and is bursting with life. Chimpanzees, golden monkeys and other primates live alongside hundreds of brightly-coloured birds, orchids and butterflies

 
Hydrocarbon Exploration in Rwanda

The exploration of hydrocarbons in Rwanda started in 1971. Initial exploration studies included geochemical and the overall analysis revealed the presence of a geologically interesting basing worth exploring more.
 
Rwanda Location Map
Rwanda Location Map


The main exploration efforts that followed comprised of 2D seismic data acquisition surveys in 2012 at lake Kivu basin, gravity and magnetic studies, and oil-prospecting geochemical survey in 2017-2018.  The results from geophysical studies showed that Lake Kivu basin is half graben and consists of a large main basin and four smaller,” separate basin “. The depth of the basins sediments is in the range between 3 km to 4.5 km.

Promising leads of a working petroleum system were found in the Lake Kivu basin and geochemical data have shown the presence of signs of migration of hydrocarbons from deep sources.

In 2021 the country contracted an American company to conduct a more advanced 2D seismic campaign to image with a higher resolution the deeper layers of Lake Kivu Basin to better understand the geological settings of the basin.

Owing to the above geological discoveries, the country has committed in pursuing the full potentiality of the lake Kivu Basin and welcomes investors for further explorations of highly potential basin of the region.

 
Methane extraction platform at Lake Kivu
Methane extraction platform at Lake Kivu



Methane gas extraction in Rwanda

Lake Kivu is located on the border between the Republic of Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo and covers an area of 2400 km2 . The lake is estimated to hold 60 km3 (2.1 TCF) of exploitable methane gas that is shared between the two countries.  

The reserve of natural gas was found to be commercial valuable for generating electricity or converting the produced gas into other industrial uses. Consequently, in 2015, the country successfully launched the first commercial project of extracting methane to generate 26 MW of electricity and industrial projects are being developed for local and regional use.

Being the 2nd fastest growing economy,  2nd for doing business in Africa, Rwanda has successfully been able to attract investors willing to strive in a safe environment. In addition, a new petroleum policy and update on petroleum in development will allow a competitive ground for international petroleum companies to invest in sector.

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Uganda has 6 sedimentary basins out of which the Albertine graben is the most explored. The graben forms the northern most part of the western arm of the East African Rift System, stretching from the border with South Sudan in the north to Lake Edward in the south a distance of over 500km. Other sedimentary basins are Hoima basin, Lake Kyoga basin, the Kadam-Moroto basin, Lake Wamala basin and Lake Victoria basin.

Within the Albertine graben, a total of about 6,000-line km of 2D seismic data and 2,000km2 of 3D seismic data has been acquired. In addition, since 2002, 121 wells have been drilled in the graben out of which 106 wells have encountered oil and/or gas in multiple reservoir intervals in the subsurface, representing a remarkable drilling success.  To-date, 21 discoveries of oil and gas have been made in Uganda in excellent quality reservoir sands and many of the wells drilled have intersected significant net oil pay which is sometimes in excess of 30m. The oil is generally light to medium gravity (API of approx. 15o to 33o) and sweet, with low Gas-Oil Ratio (GOR) and some associated wax.  The discovered resources are currently estimated at a STOIIP of 6.5 billion barrels with 1.4billion barrels recoverable of oil and about 500Bcf of gas.

Approximately 12% of the petroliferous Albertine graben is currently licensed to international oil companies. The companies are TotalEnergies (Exploration & Production) Uganda B.V (Total) and CNOOC Uganda Limited (CNOOC). These companies have been issued with production licenses. CNOOC is operating two (2) production licenses and Total is operating seven (7) production licenses. Government of Uganda has exercised its rights in the contracts to take up its 15% participating interest in the production licenses and this is being managed by the Uganda National Oil Company (UNOC) on behalf of Government.

These current petroleum resources are being commercialized under two projects i.e., the Tilenga project that is being operated by Total and the Kingfisher Development Area that is being operated by CNOOC Uganda Limited. These projects have progressed hand in and currently, the IOCs have commenced the process of construction of the central process facilities, pads and land acquisition for this infrastructure is being finalized.

 

Pad 2 construction in Kingfisher Development Area
Pad 2 construction in Kingfisher Development Area

 

Pad 2 construction in Kingfisher Development Area
Central Processing Facility construction in Tilenga Project


 
In addition to the production licenses, three (3) exploration licenses were issued in 2017 to two (2) companies; Oranto Petroleum Limited and Armour Energy Limited. This followed the successful conclusion of the 1st licensing round in Uganda that commenced in 2015. The 3 exploration licenses cover the Ngassa Shallow Play and the Ngassa Deep Play licensed to Oranto Petroleum Limited, and the Kanywataba Exploration Block licensed to Armour Energy Limited. Currently, Government of Uganda is finalizing the second licensing round that was launched at the 9th East African Petroleum Conference Exhibition in Mombasa, Kenya. This is also being finalized.

Government of Uganda has also commenced petroleum exploration in other prospective basins other than the Albertine graben. This has started in Moroto-Kadam basin, North Eastern Uganda in the Karamoja region. This is majorly intended to increase the resource base of the country that will feed into this planned infrastructure.

 

Status of Licensing in the Albertine Graben of Uganda
Status of Licensing in the Albertine Graben of Uganda


 
The Government of Uganda together with the international oil companies are currently undertaking the developments necessary for the commercialization of the discovered petroleum resources. The commercialization is planned to include development of a 60,000bbl/day modular refinery and development of a heated crude oil export pipeline. The refinery development is currently on progress with a Project Framework Agreement having been concluded with the lead investor. Front End Engineering Design and ESIA studies for the refinery development project are being finalized.

Map showing the East Africa Crude Oil Pipeline
Map showing the East Africa Crude Oil Pipeline

 

Following the conclusion of the process to identify the least cost route for transporting Uganda’s crude oil to the East African coast to access the international market, it was agreed that the export pipeline route will be through Tanzania to Port of Tanga. The two countries signed an Intergovernmental Agreement (IGA) for the development of the East African Crude Oil Pipeline (EACOP). The two governments concluded the Host Government Agreements (HGA) with the Project Developers and all the enabling legislation is in place. Front End Engineering design for the pipeline has been completed and Resettlement Action Plan for the route is also being finalized.  
 
The East Africa Crude Oil Pipeline traverses a distance of 1445km from Hoima in Uganda to Tanga in Tanzania and will be the longest heated pipeline in the world. Other in-field pipelines are planned to be developed in the country. These include; gathering lines from fields to Central Processing Facilities (CPFs), feeder pipelines from the CPFs to collection hub, product pipeline from refinery to central market in Kampala and product pipelines linking Uganda to East African countries.

 

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10th East African Petroleum Conference & Exhibition 2023 (EAPCE'23).
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