David Katithi

David Katithi

Petroleum Geochemist

National oil Corporation of Kenya

David Katithi is a Petroleum Geochemist with the National oil Corporation of Kenya where he has been actively involved in the ongoing research activities in Kenya’s sedimentary basins. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Chemistry, a Master of Science in Environmental Chemistry both from the University of Nairobi as well as a Master’s degree in Petroleum Geochemistry from Newcastle University, UK. Mr. Katithi research interests include Petroleum System Analysis, identification, fates and the kinetic reactions of molecular marker compounds in sedimentary rocks and their applications to source rock characterization and novel analytical methods that can help answer complex geological and geochemical questions.


SESSION 6:  Petroleum Geochemistry of the Loperot-1 Well in Lokichar Basin, Kenya

David Katithi and David Opar

The work reports an in-depth review of bulk and molecular geochemical data to determine the organic richness, kerogen type and thermal maturity of the Lokhone and the stratigraphically deeper Loperot shales of the Lokichar basin encountered in the Loperot-1 well. Oil-source rock correlation was also done to determine the source rocks’ likelihood as the source of oil samples obtained from the well. A combination of literature and geochemical data analyses show that both shales have good to excellent potential in terms of organic and hydrogen richness to act as conventional petroleum source rocks. The Lokhone shales have TOC values of 1.2% to 17.0% (average 5.16%) and are predominantly type I/II organic matter with HI values in the range of 116.3 – 897.2 mg/g TOC. The Lokhone source rocks were deposited in a lacustrine depositional environment in episodically oxic-dysoxic bottom waters with periodic anoxic conditions and have Tmax values in addition to biomarker signatures typical of organic matter in the mid-mature to mature stage with respect to hydrocarbon generation and immature for gas generation with Ro values of 0.51 – 0.64%. The Loperot shales were shown to be possibly highly mature type II/III source rocks with TOC values of 0.98% - 3.18% (average 2.4%), HI of 87 - 115 mg/g TOC and Ro of 1.16 – 1.33%. The Lokhone shale correlate well with the Loperot-1 well oils and hence is proposed as the principal source rock for the oils in the Lokichar basin. Although both source rocks have good organic richness to act as shale gas plays, they are insufficiently mature to act as shale gas targets but this does not preclude their potential deeper in the basin where sufficient gas window maturities might have been attained. The Lokhone shales provide a prospective shale oil play if the reservoir suitability to hydraulic fracturing can be defined. A basin wide study of the source rocks thickness, potential, maturation and expulsion histories in the Lokichar basin is recommended to better understand the present-day distribution of petroleum in the basin.