Tullow keen to expand in east Africa

TULLOW Oil is keen to expand exploration in other parts of east Africa.

Its Uganda country manager, Brian Glover, said it was looking at a range of opportunities in the region, but would not be drawn on newspaper reports that it was involved in a turf battle with Canadian group Centric Energy over Kenyan’s 10BB exploration block.

UK-listed Tullow is alleged to have written to Kenya’s prime minister, Raila Odinga, in protest at the energy ministry’s decision to award to block to Centric, while at the same time continuing negotiations with it.

Mr Glover said: “We can’t comment on of these things at the moment, but we would expect that any exploration blocks we’re interested in would be awarded on a transparent basis.”

Tullow was the first firm to strike oil in Uganda in 2006. Commercial production is due to start this year on a limited basis, with output of 150,000 barrels a day expected by 2015.

Kenya has 36 blocks in four basins. There have been 31 wells drilled, with hydrocarbons discovered in 19. Tullow shares rose 17p to £12.56.