NAIROBI--Kenya has leased out all existing oil blocks to exploration companies, the Daily Nation newspaper reports Friday citing Energy Minister Kiraitu Murungi.
The government has given out the remaining four blocks to international companies, including America's Apache Corp. (APA), France's Total SA (TOT), Anadarko from the U.S. and China's CNOOC, the daily cites Mr. Murungi as saying.
"All our 46 oil blocks, including the nine in the deep sea are now contracted out and our offices are currently busy signing production-sharing contracts. The role of the ministry now is to follow up to ensure that the work programs are implemented," the daily quoted Mr. Murungi as saying Wednesday on the sidelines of the launch of the Oil and Gas Summit scheduled to start in November.
It wasn't immediately possible to obtain a comment from the Energy Ministry.
Apache Corp. is expected to drill Kenya's first deep-water oil well in three months, the daily said.
"We are going to deep-sea drilling again from September with Apache about 60 kilometers east of Malindi. We are witnessing significant interest since we struck oil in Turkana," Mr. Murungi said.
In March, London-listed Tullow Oil PLC (TUWOY) announced it had encountered oil in its Ngama-1 well in northern Kenya, which it expects to be the largest oil find in East Africa so far.
Newspaper website: http://www.nation.co.ke/business/news/Kenya+leases+all+oil+blocks++/-/1006/1452470/-/ilwokr/-/index.html
-By George Mwangi, contributing to Dow Jones Newswires; +254 735 781 853; firstname.lastname@example.org