U.S Oil Explorer, Erin Energy has applied for a two year extension of the initial exploration period for both blocks in order to bring in potential partners and complete the remaining activities. Erin Energy, American oil explorer wants Kenya to extend its licence as it seeks for a partner to finance work on its blocks.
The company has asked the Ministry of Energy for more time to look for a partner to complete its exploration activities that were to be done in the first phase of exploration. “Accordingly, the company has applied for a two year extension of the initial exploration period for both blocks in order to bring in potential partners and complete the remaining work obligations,” said regulatory filings by the explorer.
Erin was awarded four production sharing contracts on the Lamu Basin for a combined acreage of 36,913km2. The two onshore blocks are L1B and block L16 is along the coast and is partly onshore and partly offshore in shallow water. Blocks l27 and l28 are located offshore in the ultra deep water of the Indian Ocean.
Under the Production Sharing Contract signed with the government, The company was expected to complete the first phase of exploration on its two onshore blocks by June 2015 while exploration activities on its two offshore blocks were to have been completed by August 8.
Erin pointed out that it has incurred close to 160 million Kenya shillings in operating losses from its Kenyan blocks for the first half of the year
Erin conducts offshore development and exploration activities as operator in Nigeria and conducts exploration activities as operator offshore Gambia and Ghana as well as onshore and offshore exploration activities in Kenya.
Government’s refusal to renew licenses of explorers lagging behind in work has resulted in oil and gas companies sticking to their work schedules despite the industry’s gloomy outlook. However, Petroleum experts expect that firms will continue to invest in the oil and gas industry on expectations that prices are set to rise in the three years.