Tullow Oil has become the first company to discover oil in Kenya, President Mwai Kibaki has announced.
The UK-based firm has discovered more than 20m of net oil pay in its Ngamia-1 well in Block 10BB, in the northwest Turkana region.
The well was drilled to an intermediate depth of 1,041m and was successfully logged and sampled.
Tullow Oil exploration director Angus McCoss said, "This is an excellent start to our major exploration campaign in the East African rift basins of Kenya and Ethiopia. To make a good oil discovery in our first well is beyond our expectations and bodes well for the material programme ahead of us."
The Ngamia-1 site is the first prospect to be tested under a multi-well drilling campaign in Kenya and Ethiopia.
Tullow stated many other leads and prospects similar to Ngamia have been identified and following the discovery, the outlook for further success has been significantly improved.
The Ngamia-1 well will now be drilled to a depth of 2,700m to explore for deeper potential.
Once operations are completed at Ngamia, the Weatherford 804 rig will be shifted to the Tullow Operated Block 10A where the Paipai-1 wildcat will be spud in the second half of this year.
Tullow, which commenced its exploration work in Kenya last year, holds a 50% operated interest in multiple licences in the Kenya and Ethiopia's Rift Basins stretching more than 100,000km2.
The firm operates Kenya's Block 10BB with a 50% and Africa Oil holds the remaining stake.