A Kenyan official says efforts to find oil in the country's northeast have come up empty.

Kenya's government had expressed optimism that the China National Offshore Oil Corporation would strike oil and gas in North Eastern province.

However, Kenya's permanent secretary of energy told reporters Tuesday that the Chinese firm has stopped drilling.

Patrick Nyoike said an exploratory well is now more than 5,000 meters deep, and high temperatures at that depth mean there is "no possibility of getting oil."

Nyoike said the government will announce next month whether the area has commercially viable deposits of gas.  

Kenyans have been hoping for a major oil discovery, similar to recent finds in neighboring Uganda and Tanzania.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP..