NAIROBI, KENYA – President Mwai Kibaki has announced that oil has been struck in Turkana area, north east region of the country. This marks what appears to be a major breakthrough in the country’s efforts to become a middle-income country.

“It is the beginning of a long journey to make Kenya an oil producing nation,” Kibaki announced. British componay Tullow Oil Plc, the London-listed oil and gas exploration firm that discovered oil in western Uganda a few years ago, was key to this discovery.

Prior to this announcement, Kenya was yet to discover any commercial oil deposits, but interest in its exploration blocks has grown since neighbouring Uganda discovered billions of barrels in its Lake Albert rift. While it may be too early to celebrate, Kenya officially joins Uganda and South Sudan as oil producing nations.

Tullow Kenya BV, which is operating five exploration blocks in northern Kenya, started drilling wells in 2011. The announment comes weeks after Kibaki, South Sudan President Salva Kiir and Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi, launched a project to build a port in the Kenyan coastal town of Lamu and a pipeline to link the three nations.

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