Petroleum officers team undertakes Gas, Oil exploration in Solai-Nakuru
The Department of Petroleum in the Ministry of Petroleum and Mining has dispatched Petroleum officers to undertake exploration for oil and gas in the Solai area of Nakuru County after a developer who was sinking a borehole in the area discovered gas in the process of extracting water in 2019.
According to the Commissioner for Petroleum Mr. James Ng'ang'a, the officers include Geo-chemists, Geo-physicists, Petroleum engineers and Geologists who will undertake Geological mapping and Geo-physical measurements in the area to look for structures which could come up with gas deposits.
Mr Ng’ang’a said that, following the discovery of some deposits by the borehole digger, the Department of Petroleum decided to go out of its way to ascertain the amount of Gas in the Solai area and if it is there, assess its commercial viability.
“Besides the Solai area, we are also undertaking a Country-wide Oil and Gas exploration by dispatching teams of Petroleum officers to undertake a preliminary mapping with the objectives of determining the source of Solai gas, determine the Petroleum geology of Solai area”, said the Commissioner which we commenced two months ago in the Coastal region.
Commissioner Nga’ng’a further explained that, these objectives will be realized through Geo-chemical sampling and testing for gas composition, Geological sampling of the rocks from the borehole to determine the identity and composition, Geophysical mapping of sediments and underlying structures.
“We will also undertake Geological sampling of rocks,Geological mapping of the Solai area, to determine the elements of a petroleum system, Geo-chemical sampling and testing of the water and rocks from boreholes in the surrounding area,Geo-physical mapping of the sediments and underlying structures within the Solai area", said the Petroleum Commissioner.
He added that Petroleum Officers intend to see whether there are deposits of hydro-carbon gases, Biogenic hydrocarbon gases (which are overwhelmingly at 99%), methane which are those produced as a direct consequence of bacterial activity and are usually generated a few tens of meters below the seabed, also such bacterial activity exists in sediment several hundred meters beneath the earth surface or the seabed.
Ng'ang'a said the team is also trying to ascertain the presence of thermogenic hydrocarbon gases which usually occurs at subbottom depths exceeding 1,000 metres which are produced under conditions of high temperature and great pressure from kerogens (which are derived from organic matter).
“With respect to methane as a thermogenic gas, it is dominant only in the last stage (post mature or metagenesis stage) of hydrocarbon production. The department is looking at the prospects of striking gas and after we establish the existence of a working petroleum system, then we progress with determining the possible location of the resources and if discovered then we determine the commerciality then develop and finally produce", said the Commissioner.
The Commissioner described the economic potential of hydrocarbons to the economy as enormous because the hydrocarbons are driving the economy of the world as it produces electricity.
“We can generate electricity with natural gas – with steam turbines and gas turbines heating homes during adverse weather. For instance, almost half of all U.S. homes use natural gas for heating”, Ng'ang'a said.