Kenya’s Principal Secretary in the State Department of Petroleum, Ministry of Energy and Petroleum, Andrew Kamau has revealed that the country is ready to endorse the acquisition of offshore oil and gas exploration blocks by Qatar Petroleum, a state-owned company of the energy-rich Arab nation.
According to Daily Nation, Qatar Petroleum, mid last month mentioned that it had signed an agreement with French multinational oil and gas company, Total as well as Italian oil company, Eni to take over three offshore exploration blocks in the Lamu Basin.
Besides, in the deal that is subject to regulatory approvals by Kenyan authorities, Qatar Petroleum said it had acquired a 25 per cent stake (13.75 per cent from Eni and 11.25 per cent from Total) in three blocks located in the offshore Lamu Basin.
Interestingly, the company is now part of a growing list of global corporations seeking to exploit huge fuel deposits believed to be underneath the Indian Ocean seabed.
Meanwhile, the three offshore blocks (L11A, L11B and L12) are situated in what is considered to be a frontier and largely unexplored area in the Lamu Basin. Also, they have a total area of approximately 15,000 square kilometres, with water depths ranging from about 1,000 metres to 3,000 metres. Eni also owns blocks L21, L23 and L24.
According to a statement by Qatar’s Minister of State for Energy Affairs Saad bin Sherida al-Kaabi, who is also the chief executive of Qatar Petroleum, he said: “we are pleased to sign this agreement to participate in exploring these frontier offshore areas in Kenya and to further strengthen our presence in Africa”.