In Kenya, the Next Big Oil Patch

Oil companies estimate East Africa holds up to 10 billion barrels
Kenya’s Twiga well produced the nation’s first commercial oil earlier this year Photograph by Eduard Gismatullin/Bloomberg

Kenya’s Great Rift Valley, a 450-mile-long volcanic trench ripped open by shifting tectonic plates, is known as the cradle of mankind for the million-year-old remains of human forebears discovered there. Oil drillers say the area also holds a string of fields that could make East Africa’s largest economy a major energy producer. The U.K.’s Tullow Oil and Canada’s Africa Oil found crude at two wells last year and now plan up to 11 more test wells in 2013. The valley could yield 10 billion barrels, Tullow estimates, enough to supply Kenya for three centuries.

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