TotalEnergies and Africa Oil have today informed Tullow Oil of their intention to withdraw participation in the South Lokichar Basin oil field, leaving Tullow as the field’s sole owner.

Africa Oil and TotalEnergies, which each hold a 25% stake in the oil field, will divest entirely from the joint operating agreements and production sharing contracts for the project, transferring all remaining rights to Tullow.

Keith Hill, president of Africa Oil, stated: “We have taken the decision to exit our Kenya concessions as our strategy has shifted to focus on production and high-potential exploration opportunities.”

“Africa Oil is proud to have played a central role in discovering the oil fields in Kenya’s South Lokichar Basin,” he added.

The joint venture had been seeking additional investment, with Tullow stating that discussions are ongoing with a variety of sources, although the process has “taken longer than expected”.

Tullow, however, remains confident of securing investment by the end of 2023, with ONGC India and Indian Oil reportedly looking to purchase up to 50% of the project together. Tullow, for its part, has said that it sees benefit in 100% project ownership, which would give the company more “flexibility” in selecting potential partners.

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In the short-term, Tullow will continue to run the development with 100% operational control, noting in a statement that an updated field development plan is currently awaiting approval from Kenyan petroleum industry regulators. 

Due to begin production in 2026, the oil field has an expected peak of 120,000 barrels per day of crude oil, and is expected to deliver 309.52 million barrels of oil equivalent over its life cycle.