Kenya’s Ministry of Energy and Petroleum says that the country will not rush the auction of the 17 new oil exploration blocks it created recently despite rising interest from investors, The Star reported.

In April 2016, the ministry stated that Kenya had created an extra 17 new oil exploration blocks, bringing its total to 63 and aimed to auction them in a licensing round during 2017, according to Nogtec. Yet, Principal Secretary for Petroleum, Andrew Kamau, stated that the blocks will in future only be sold at the right price and to the right investor. Kamau added: “we are not in any rush to give out any blocks because it does not meet our strategic intent as a country at the moment.”

Interest in Kenya’s oil block has been on the rise since February 2012 when British explorer Tullow Oil and its then equal partner African Oil of Canada struck oil in block 10BB in Lokichar Basin, south of Turkana County. Africa Oil has since farmed out half of its stake in oil-rich blocks 10B and 13T to Danish business conglomerate Maersk. The Lokichar Basin has recoverable reserves in the upwards of 750m barrels.