London, England — ESI-AFRICA.COM — 22 September 2011 – French oil giant Total is to partner with U.S. oil firm Anadarko and Britain’s Cove Energy in Kenya, in a sign that the oil majors are starting to see the potential for a new oil and gas region off the coast of East Africa.
Cove Energy revealed in a statement here that Total had agreed to acquire a 40% stake in five exploration blocks in waters off the coast of Kenya.
Reuters reports that interest in offshore East Africa has been gaining momentum since 2010, when Anadarko and Cove made a large gas discovery off the coast of Mozambique. This was soon followed by further finds by British gas firm BG Group off the coast of Tanzania.
“The addition of a company of the calibre of Total to our Kenyan deepwater partnership marks an industry acknowledgement of the significant exploration potential in these blocks,” Cove’s chief executive John Craven said in a statement.
Craven told Reuters in June that “big oil” was looking to gain positions in the company’s Kenyan acreage.
The companies plan to start drilling in deep water off the coast of Kenya in the second half of next year.