Posted on :Wednesday , 1st November 2017
NEMA has given a British oil and gas firm the green light to start Sh16.4 billion drilling for commercial gas on Pate Island, Lamu county.
The National Environmental Management Authority (NEMA) has cleared Zarara Oil and Gas Ltd to start drilling one of two wells believed to contain huge natural gas deposit on the archipelago.
Mr. Salim Ahmed Bashir - Lamu County Nema director of environment - confirmed that Zarara has been licensed to undertake the drilling exercise.
“Yes, I am aware they have been issued with the license from our headquarters (in Nairobi) because such activities are normally handled at the highest level,” said Mr. Bashir.
He added that the firm has also compensated land owners in the area, paving way for exploration of gas deposits in the two blocks.
“There was a lease agreement between the land owners and the company where parties settled on compensation agreement,” he added.
Reports state that Zarara has started Greatwall Drilling Company Ltd’s drilling rig to start sinking of Pate 2 well that is expected to take 120 days.
MRI has a 75 percent stake in the two blocks while Swiss Oil Holding controls 15 percent, with the remaining ten percent shares owned by the Kenyan government.
Two years ago, the government granted Zarara Oil and Gas an 18-month license extension to undertake drilling works on Blocks L4 and L13.
Zarara has planned to drill 102 wells in the area.
However, the quantity of gas deposits will only be ascertained after intense drilling, Zarara country manager Peter Nduru said.