Kenya to Offer Nine Oil and Gas Licenses by April, Minister Says

Kenya will offer as many as nine oil and gas exploration licenses in the first quarter, said Patrick Nyoike, an official at the Energy Ministry.

Chevron Corp. and Eni SpA have said they may bid for the licenses, Nyoike told reporters in Nairobi today. Some of the acreage was relinquished by explorers, and the blocks will be repackaged for the sale.

Tullow Oil Corp. and Africa Oil Corp. made Kenya’s first oil discovery last March. The country has no proven oil reserves, though Exxon Mobil Corp. and Chevron found gas in the Anza Basin in 1976.

The licenses will be offered “as soon as we get the coordinates right,” he said. “I am talking about this month. Many companies have showed interest.”

East Africa has become one of the world’s most active exploration areas since Anadarko Petroleum Corp. made the decade’s biggest gas discovery off Mozambique. An oil find would be a boon for Kenya as the commodity is easier to sell than the gas found in neighboring Tanzania and Mozambique, which will require spending at least $50 billion on export plants.

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