Barclays Bank of Kenya has settled a US$13mn financing package with oil and gas drilling company Marriott Drilling Group’s African subsidiary.

The package is a five-year asset financing deal and has been earmarked for the purchase of a new petroleum drilling rig, which will be used to explore reserves in Kenya.

This funding is part of a Barclays initiative aimed “at capitalising on the potential of the recent crude oil deposits discovery in Turkana County in northern Kenya”, a Barclays’ spokesperson tells GTR.

Apart from financing the rig acquisition process, Barclays is also looking to become more involved in the burgeoning Kenyan oil industry and is implementing a five-year financing plan to encourage other financial intermediaries to invest.

The bank believes that the Kenyan oil reserves will have a significant impact on the country.

“From the initial indicators, the discovery is likely to reduce or totally eliminate the need for costly oil imports which are close to US$3bn annually. This, in addition to the traditional hard currency earners dominated by tea, coffee and tourism will aid in curbing the current-account deficit thus boosting the shilling currency and the economy at large,” the spokesperson adds.

The Marriott Drilling Group operates 20 drilling across Europe and selected international markets and has recently drilled several high pressure/high temperature wells in Africa.