Kenya sees oil resources almost double with more drilling


Kenya expects its estimate of oil resources to almost double to 1 billion barrels as well-drilling climbs and the government forges ahead with plans to build an export pipeline, an energy ministry official said. Tullow Oil and its partner Africa Oil Corp. have discovered an estimated 600 million barrels of oil in the South Lokichar Basin since announcing the country’s first crude find in March 2012. The discovery has spurred the East African nation to accelerate infrastructure-development plans, including construction of an oil pipeline that will link Uganda to a planned port in the Kenyan coastal town of Lamu.


South Sudan to split oil concession as lawmakers question award


South Sudan plans to split an oil block awarded to Star Petroleum SA, a Luxembourg-registered company, as part of a review of a concession criticized by the country’s lawmakers, Petroleum Minister Stephen Dhieu Dau said. Block E, which covers 45,000 square kilometers (17,375 square miles), will be divided into two, Dau said in an interview on Sept. 9 in the capital, Juba. The terms were reviewed because the concession was awarded in 2010, the year before South Sudan gained independence from Sudan, he said. A draft agreement is being assessed by the country’s Petroleum and Gas Commission. “The terms that were given when we were one country, some are not favorable to our interests regarding the environment and the economy,” Dau said. Two years ago, South Sudan split Block B, an oil concession in which Total SA had a controlling stake, into three parts to encourage more foreign investment in its oil industry. Total signed exploration and production-sharing agreements for the block with the Sudanese government before South Sudan seceded. Exxon Mobil Corp., the U.S.’s largest oil company, in April ended exploration plans with Total in South Sudan.


Violence in Libya sends world oil prices higher


A Libyan military police chief said he disbanded parliament after a militia group he backs stormed it yesterday, spreading violence in the energy-rich nation to its capital and sending world oil prices higher. In a televised speech late yesterday preceded by clashes, Mukhtar Fernana said parliament will be replaced by a 60-member group. Nuri Abu Sahmain, the head of the General National Congress, denied that it had been suspended and said yesterday he was running it from a “safe place,” the state-run Libyan News Agency reported. Fernana said he won’t allow Libya to become a safe-haven for extremists or a “home for terrorists.” The assault, he said, was not a coup and reflects the “freedom that Libyans wanted and fought for.”