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The Cradle of Mankind is a Great Rift valley that runs through Kenya, created by separating tectonic plates, and so named due to the million-year old human remains that have been discovered there. They are not the only things that have been discovered there; oil drillers claim that preliminary tests suggest a string of fields in the area that could transform the country into a major oil producer.
Last year Tullow Oil Plc., of the UK, and Africa Oil Corp., of Canada, discovered crude oil at two exploratory wells, and now plant to drill a further 11 during 2013. Tullow estimates that the valley could hold 10 billion barrels of oil, enough to supply Kenya for 300 years.
Africa’s oil industry has focussed on the West, with Nigeria producing the majority of the continents oil, and East Africa has remained overlooked. Afren Plc. Stated that of the more than 30,000 wells drilled in Africa, less than 500 have been in East Africa.
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Keith Hill, the CEO of Africa Oil explained that, “there was a giant under-explored hole on the map. Now the world has woken up to East Africa. I’ve never seen a basin of this magnitude.”
This discovery will place Kenya at the centre of East Africa’s emerging oil industry, but Uganda is also about to begin drilling for oil, and Tullow and Africa Oil are already drilling in Ethiopa.
By. Charles Kennedy of Oilprice.com
Charles is a writer for Oilprice.com