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Tullow Oil Says Kenya Takes the Lead as Its Exploration Focus

Tullow Oil Plc (TLW) said that after five consecutive oil finds, Kenya has taken the lead as the focus of its exploration campaigns.

“It shifted once we started to make some of these major discoveries,” Angus McCoss, exploration director, said in an interview in Cape Town. “Three years ago when we built these campaigns, we put them in place to follow up from the success we had in Ghana and Uganda,” though we didn’t know which one would be first, he said.

Tullow this month reported its fifth discovery in Kenya in the first of a chain of multiple rift basins across its acreage in the region. The find is part of a major exploration campaign that is set to make Kenya the first oil exporter in East Africa.

Tullow expects results next month from an initial well in Mauritania, McCoss said. The company is planning three additional wells, which may cost close to $100 million because they’re located in deep water.

The second campaign, in terms of potential, is in offshore Norway, McCoss said. Tullow is drilling a well called Mantra, following “a very material discovery” in the Barents Sea, where an estimated 200 million to 500 million barrels were found, he said.

Royal Dutch Shell Plc and Tullow failed to find oil or natural gas in their last well in French Guiana, Northern Petroleum Plc, a partner in the exploration, said in a Nov. 13 statement.

French Guiana is “our No. 6 horse, in the back of the race, today, but having said that, it’s a vast acreage position,” McCoss said. “What we do now is take the next year to look at all the data from the campaign and then to decide the best way forward.”

To contact the reporter on this story: Paul Burkhardt in Johannesburg at pburkhardt@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Nasreen Seria at nseria@bloomberg.net

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