Monday, July 30, 2012

30,000 Enter Kenya to Escape Ethiopian Ethnic Clash

Mohammed Yusuf
NAIROBI — The Kenyan Red Cross says more than 30,000 refugees have entered the country from Ethiopia in the past few days to escape fighting in their own country, though the ethnic battles now seem to have been contained and the exodus has turned to a trickle.

The Kenyan Red Cross says the fighting was triggered by a dispute over land between the Garri and Borana ethnic communities in southern Ethiopia, about 1.5 kilometers from the Kenyan border.

The clashes, which started four days ago, have killed dozens and displaced tens of thousands to temporary camps in the town of Moyale on the Kenyan side of the border.

Nelly Muluka, Kenya Red Cross communication manager in Moyale, said the flow of refugees has slowed.

“We are not really receiving many people at the moment, but according to the Kenya Red Cross registration in the two camps, we have a figure of 33,000 people who have crossed from Ethiopia following the conflict,” said Muluka.

The Ethiopian government says the clashes were caused by administrative issues rather than land disputes. Government spokesman Bereket told the French news agency the federal police intervened and the situation is now under control.

Muluka said Ethiopian police are maintaining a heavy presence along the Ethiopian-Kenyan border. She said the Red Cross has distributed blankets, mosquito nets and food. Muluka said the refugees appear to be reluctant to go back to their villages.

“When talking to people they don’t seem to be in a hurry to go back because they say they have lost most of their properties, all they owned, to the conflict. Some of them even lost their relatives, and for that fear they don’t seem to be in a hurry,” said Muluka.

The area where the clashes erupted is in the Oromia region of southern Ethiopia. The area is frequented by pastoral communities who heavily rely on land for animal grazing.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Africa Oil Makes Progress in Kenya Well and in Ethiopia | Dissident Nation

Ngamia-1 Well
Africa Oil Corp. (“Africa Oil” or the “Company”) (TSX VENTURE:AOI)(OMX:AOI) is pleased to provide the following update on the Company’s exploration activities in Kenya and Ethiopia.
The Ngamia-1 wildcat well in Kenya Block 10BB has now been drilled to a total depth of 2,340 meters, has made a significant light oil discovery and is now being suspended for future flow testing. In addition to the greater than 100 meters of net light oil pay in the Upper Lokhone Sand section previously reported, the well encountered an additional 43 meters of potential oil pay based on logs and the recovery of light oil on an MDT sample over a gross interval of 150 meters. Testing equipment including downhole pumps is being mobilized and the intention is to flow test a number of the zones in the Upper and Lower Lokhone Sands in the near future to confirm the full potential of this discovery.
Oil was encountered in sands throughout an 1,100 meter interval, including a 300 meter thick section of Lokhone Shale, which is believed to be the primary source interval in the South Lokichar Basin. Over one hundred leads and prospects have now been identified in seven separate basins in the Kenya and Ethiopia Tertiary rift basin acreage. Those located in the South Lokichar Basin have been substantially de-risked due to their proximity to Ngamia.
Drilling concluded 360 meters shallower than pre-drill estimates when the well encountered the basin bounding fault, which is interpreted to have cut out some 100 meters of prospective reservoirs. Further away from the fault we expect to encounter the complete reservoir section and for reservoir thickness and quality to improve.
The rig is now preparing to move to drill the Twiga-1 well, 30 km northeast in Block 13T along the western basin bounding fault on trend with Ngamia. Once this drilling has completed it is planned to use this rig to return to Ngamia-1 for the above mentioned flow testing. Two additional rigs are being sourced, one for the Pai Pai prospect in Kenya Block 10A and one for the Sabisa prospect in the South Omo block in Ethiopia. These wells are expected to spud late in the third and the fourth quarters of 2012, respectively. Three seismic crews are now active in the Tertiary rift trend and a proposal to acquire 3D seismic over the Ngamia discovery is under consideration.
Keith Hill, President and CEO, commented, “The Ngamia discovery has been an amazing start to our East African drilling campaign. The large number of leads and prospects developed to date shows the major upside potential of these basins and many of these have now been de-risked by the success at Ngamia. We look forward to several more high impact wells this year as we accelerate the exploration of these highly prospective trends.”
Source: Marketwire

Saturday, July 7, 2012

5,000 displaced in attacks by Merille bandits

MORE than 5,000 people have been displaced along the Kenya-Ethiopia border after frequent attacks by Merrille militiamen. The Ethiopian tribe have been attacking Kenyan villages fishermen on Lake Turkana. They have killed 9 people in the past week. "We are deploying more security teams along the border to help deal with invaders who have been tormenting our people," said Turkana North DC Albert Mwilitsa.
INSECURITY: Armed Turkana residents in Kainuk on September 2011. Photo/FileHe says the displaced families have moved away from the borders. He said although tension is high in the area, the security team would control the situation. Tension increased in the area after the Merrile killed two people at Mayan village a few kilimoters from Todonyang. Ethiopian authorities have also deployed security teams at five key points along the border.
However it has been difficult for the security personnel to stop the militias' frequent raids. "We are working closely with the Ethiopians but tensions have made it difficult to have community elders engage in dialogue so that we find lasting peace", said the DC. More than 500 fishermen have fled from Lake Turkana following the killings of five of their colleagues by the militiamen. Fishing activities on the lake have been paralysed.
Clashes between fishermen from the two countries are blamed for the killings. The fishermen were attacked and shot dead on the shores of the lake.  “Fishing cannot flourish with insecurity all over. We have agreed that we need to jointly restore the security situation so that our people can engage in commercial fishing,” Mwilitsa said.
The government has proposed to increase the number of marine security personnel on the lake from the current ten to thirty. They will be given an extra motor boat to be used for patrolling on the lake which lies on the border between the two countries. However the lake is largely controlled by the Ethiopian groups making it difficult for Kenyan fishermen to operate.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Kenya's oil Exploration After First Discovery -

Tullow Oil Plc (TLW), the London-based explorer with the most licenses in Africa, plans to accelerate drilling in Kenya after making the East African nation’s first discovery earlier this year.
Tullow will bring in two additional rigs next year, Chief Financial Officer Ian Springett said today in an interview. Alongside Africa Oil Corp. (AOI), Tullow is deploying two rigs in Kenya and one in Ethiopia this year to confirm reserves in the new African oil province after the Ngamia-1 well discovered more than 100 meters (330 feet) of light oil.
“It’s absolutely a fantastic start as it exceeded our expectations and there’s a lot more drilling to come,” Springett said. “It’s conventional oil, it’s very similar to Uganda but a much bigger first discovery.”
Tullow forecast Kenya has the potential to exceed Uganda, where together with Total SA and Cnooc Ltd. it plans to invest more than $10 billion to unlock an estimated 2.5 billion barrels of oil. The U.K. company’s Kenyan exploration acreage may hold as much as 10 billion barrels of oil resources, Tullow’s Exploration Director Angus McCoss said on a conference call with analysts.
“It’s a high-risk upside with a lot of exploration yet to do but certainly the size of the prize after Ngamia is potentially bigger,” he said.

Well Suspended

The company stopped the Ngamia-1 well for testing later this year. Africa Oil today said that the well encountered an additional 43 meters of “potential oil.”
The explorer said a potential export pipeline from Uganda could cross Kenya to bring oil to a port on the Indian Ocean coast.
“The export pipeline is the key discussion point now,” Springett said. “At the same time the discoveries in Kenya add both the extra likelihood and extra benefit in terms of even more oil being exported from that part of East Africa.”
Tullow’s first-half output averaged 77,400 barrels of oil equivalent a day. Production is expected to exceed 90,000 barrels a day by the end of the year, according to a statement today.
“Clearly, the Kenya play has been a major first-half positive,” said Stuart Joyner, head of oil and gas analysis at Investec Securities Ltd. in London.
The company has been applying acid-stimulation methods, which are designed to boost production, to its Jubilee field off Ghana to almost double output to 120,000 barrels a day next year. It will spend less than the forecast $400 million on the field work because it’s a “lot cheaper solution” than re- drilling the wells, Springett said.
“We don’t expect that we have to do any more recompletion,” the CFO said. “Jubilee production will be motoring ahead” in the second half.
“Reservoir acidization is a common solution at other fields,” Oswald Clint, an analyst at Sanford C. Bernstein & Co. in London, wrote in an e-mailed report. “Good news for costs.”
To contact the reporter on this story: Eduard Gismatullin in London at
To contact the editor responsible for this story: Will Kennedy at

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Kenya blast injures 28; authorities disagree on cause - CNN

Kenyan Prime Minister Raila Odinga said he believes the blast was an "act of terror."
At least 28 people were injured Monday, four of them critically, in an explosion in downtown Nairobi, according to Kenyatta National Hospital.
Prime Minister Raila Odinga said he believes the blast was "act of terror," but hospital and police on the scene said they suspect an electrical fire was the cause.
The hospital said injuries were "not consistent with a grenade or bomb blast."
But Dennis Onyango, an aide to Odinga, said the level of damage was too much for a fire.

The electrical company said it was not possible that there had been an electrical fault.
The prime minister said it was an attack "perpetrated by the same forces Kenyan security is fighting abroad."
Kenya has troops in neighboring Somalia fighting Al-Shabaab, an Islamist militia that controls parts of the country.
The blast occurred around 1:15 p.m. at a shopping center. Witnesses said the earth shook and pieces of metal rained down on the street.
Neighboring buildings, including one housing a broadcaster, were rattled. The network showed people running through streets afterward.
"I looked up and saw a huge piece of metal coming down," said Jessie Waweru, who was doing business in the area. "It was red hot!"
"I just heard a loud blast," said student John Mwangi. "It went 'bang'! I just started running with other people. There was confusion everywhere."
"I was scared and dropped down wondering what happened," said Dennis Mutua, a driver. "Then I saw smoke."
The small shopping center has a variety of stores, mostly selling clothes and shoes.
Charred remnants of clothing could be seen throughout the area.
Windows were blown out in buildings across the street.