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Barclays Bank will fund Marriott Drilling Africa Limited’s (MDAL) purchase of a drilling rig for $13 million.The deal is first of its kind in East Africa that is structured to finance an exploration project.

MDAL is an oil exploration company and subsidiary of the UK-based Marriott Drilling Group. The Marriott Drilling Group is one of the largest onshore drilling companies in the UK with more than 20 oil and workover rigs and projects in Europe and around the world.

According to Barclays Managing Director Jeremy Awori, “Signing a financing agreement of this value reflects the ability and commitment of Barclays Bank to shoulder its responsibilities in financing the projects of leading companies which have a clear strategy.”

Kenya’s banking institutions and its oil and gas companies are ramping up their collaboration in the wake of last year’s oil discovery.