Zarara receives approval to begin drilling in Luma

By professo

The National Environmental Management Authority (NEMA) have granted approval to British oil and gas firm, Zarara Oil and Gas Ltd, to start drilling for commercial gas.

The Sh16.4bn (US$159mn) projected is to be located on Pate Island, in Kenya’s Lamu county.

Zarara are a fully owned- subsidiary of Midway Resources International (MRI).

The British company will soon begin drilling two wells that are presumed to hold huge natural gas deposits on the archipelago.

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A strict deadline has been established by The Energy Ministry, only permitting the firm to explore for gas at the Pate 2 well before the end of the year, followed by Pate 3 for power generation.

“Yes, I am aware they have been issued with the licence from our headquarters (in Nairobi) because such activities are normally handled at the highest level,” said Salim Ahmed Bashir, Director of Environment at Lamu County NEMA.

“There was a lease agreement between the company and land owners where parties settled on compensation agreement.”

The firm has paid compensation for land owners in the area, and mobilised Greatwall Drilling Company’s rig in order to start sinking Pate 2 well, expected to take 120 days.

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