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June 21, 2018

Experts to check for oil and gas in Kajiado near village borehole

The gas-emitting borehole in Inkokirding’a village on October 5. It was sealed to cap emissions
The gas-emitting borehole in Inkokirding’a village on October 5. It was sealed to cap emissions

Mapping for oil and gas is expected to start tomorrow after methane was discovered when a Kajiado farmer drilled a borehole for his cattle.

The gas ignited in Inkokirding’a village.

Analysis showed it is 20 per cent methane, which is used for fuel.

Geologists will check that area and the Kipeto Plateau before any decision is made to begin exploration.

Oil exploration has been ongoing in some parts of Kajiado West constituency around Lake Magadi.

The National Oil Corporation of Kenya has not reported anything tangible since exploration started in the area two years ago.

Senior geochemist George Igunza of the Geothermal Development Company said analysis of the gas sample is complete and the full report will be made public soon. 

A borehole driller accidentally hit gas early this month when farmer Joseph Melonye contracted the firm to sink a 200-meter-deep borehole for his livestock. 

 Instead, it emitted fire, sparking hope among residents that the find could uplift their livelihoods.

“That’s God’s blessing,” said Governor  Joseph Lenku, who hadn’t wanted to comment before analysis was complete.

A team of GDC experts are expected to leave Nakuru today for Kajiado West so the work of mapping the area can start tomorrow, Igunza said.

The geochemist spoke to the Star on the phone from Nakuru’s GDC laboratories.

He said analysis showed the gas is 20 per cent pure methane.

Igunza said experts on the ground would map the area and determine the extent of oil and methane gas reservoir.

Depending on their findings, they will call on companies with sophisticated equipment to drill.

The area of the borehole has been cordoned and fenced off by the county and national governments to enable GDC officers to investigate.

GDC Chief Executive Officer Johnson Nchoe yesterday said he had forwarded the report to the Ministry of Energy.

The ministry is expected to officially release the findings.

With the promising signs of methane gas in Kipeto area, there are indications that explorers are likely to shift Inkokirding’a village in the coming weeks.

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