Tullow Oil lifts force majeure on main licences in Kenya

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Tullow Oil has lifted its declaration of force majeure on its main licences in Kenya, a move that had threatened to further delay a final investment decision expected this year on the Turkana fields.

The lifting of the declaration paves the way for resumption of activities at Tullow’s Turkana oil sites and came as a result of the easing of Covid-19 restrictions.  

“The lifting of Force Majeure notices has been facilitated by the improvement in Covid-19 pandemic restrictions worldwide and the resumption of local and international flights, allowing the restart of the various workstreams under the Project,” said Tullow’s partner, Africa Oil in a statement.

According to Tullow, the force majeure declaration would have provided time “for the operating environment to improve” and for the joint venture partners to hold discussions with the Kenyan government on “the best way forward for this strategic project”.

Tullow is reported to have said that it will continue engaging the government on the project’s future.

“The joint venture partners are continuing their dialogue, including discussions regarding how the incentives granted to the project shall be facilitated,” Africa Oil said.

Tullow completed a three-well exploration campaign in 2019, drilling the Jethro-1 and Joe-1 wells in the Tullow-operated Orinduik licence and the Carapa-1 well in the Repsol Kanuku licence.

In March 2020, Executive Chair of Tullow Oil PLC, Dorothy Thompson, said that the Joe and Jethro discoveries in Guyana were ultimately disappointing with lower oil quality discovered than originally anticipated and that “Investors were frustrated.” She noted however that the Carapa-1 well confirmed the presence of hydrocarbons and importantly, supports the potential of the Cretaceous play from the ExxonMobil‑operated Stabroek licence on both the adjacent Kanuku and Orinduik licences.

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