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Is Kenya the future of oil?

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Njuwa Maina/Reuters/File

(Read caption) This April 2012 file photo shows an oil rig used in drilling in Turkana County, Kenya. All eyes are on Kenya in 2013, according to, to see how quickly the country can develop oil discoveries into production.

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Kenya has become the hottest oil and gas venue in East Africa since big discoveries were made in the country’s virgin oilfields last April. All eyes are on Kenya in 2013 to see how quickly--and economically they can develop those discoveries into production.

Nairobi based Taipan Resources Inc. (TPN-TSXV; TAIPF-PINK) is the 4th largest acreage owner in Kenya, and is getting ready to carry out seismic on Block 2B. They recently attracted Maxwell Birley as CEO. Mr. Birley has been instrumental in discovering more than 2 billion barrels of oil equivalent in his 30-year career—much of it in Africa and Asia.

In an exclusive interview with, Taipan CEO Maxwell Birley discusses:

•    Why Kenya is the hottest venue in East Africa

•    Why 2013 will be a stellar year for Kenya
•    Why the regulatory environment remains attractive
•    Why Kenya outranks its neighbours
•    Why infrastructure will be in place in time for commercial activity
•    Why this venue is good for the juniors
•    Why the Somalia security risk remains low
•    What Taipan is really chasing There were some major discoveries in Kenya last year. Could you give me some colour on these discoveries that has the market thinking Kenya is now one of the hottest exploration spots on earth? 

Maxwell Birley: There are a couple—or 2 billion--reasons actually.  First, two recent discoveries by Tullow in the Tertiary Lokichar basin of Kenya are in similar geological settings as the discoveries also made by Tullow in the Albertine Basin in Uganda, just to the west.

Uganda has over 2 billion barrels, and the discoveries are similar enough that one could assume the eventual size of the resources in the Lokichar basin could be in the billions of barrels range as well.


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