Pancontinental Oil and Gas has announced it will begin a 3D seismic survey over the Mbawa prospect offshore Kenya in October.

The move comes after Kenya’s Ministry of Energy approved a partial relinquishment of the prospect’s L8 licence acreage.

The survey will be carried out by seismic contractor Fugro and cover an area of more than 300km², mainly over Mbawa in the northeast of the licence area.

Pancontinental director Barry Rushworth said the 3D survey is designed to map the giant Mbawa prospect in significantly enhanced detail before drilling begins.

“This should be the major concluding exploration step before drilling to unlock Mbawa’s potential, bearing in mind that only drilling will determine if we have commercial hydrocarbon reserves,” Rushworth said.

The survey will cost about $10m and is scheduled to be complete in November.