Kenya will start shipping its “first 200,000 barrels of crude oil in June 2019 after hitting the 200,000-barrel mark set by the government” for it to be able to export the product, a high ranking government official has revealed.
Kenya’s Cabinet Secretary for Petroleum and Mining, Hon. John Munyes also disclosed that Tullow Oil had so far transported 87,000 barrels of crude oil to the Kenya Petroleum Refineries storage tanks in Mombasa.
Munyes spoke Wednesday at official opening of the 9th East African Petroleum Conference and Exhibition 2019, themed, ‘East African Region – the destination of choice for Oil and Gas Investment Opportunities to enhance Socioeconomic Transformation.’
According to Hon. Munyes, Kenya has a total of 94 wells of oil that have been drilled, 63 exploration blocks that have been gazetted, 276 blocks licensed and 36 blocks open to investors.
“The government is constructing a 820km 20-inch diameter, South Lokichar – Lamu Crude Oil pipeline that will connect Turkana to Lamu Port, which will be operational by 2022,” said Munyes.
The Cabinet Secretary revealed other major petroleum infrastructure that have been put in place/or whose construction is ongoing including the 450km, 20-inch diameter multi-product Line 5 from Mombasa to Nairobi, which has been completed; construction of four tanks of 133,000 cubic metres in Nairobi to ensure adequate storage of products coming through Line 5; the 122 km, 10-inch diameter multi-product line from Sinendet to Kisumu, and; completion of the Kisumu Oil Jetty.
Hon. Munyes called upon investors to come to the EAC not only to invest in the Oil and Gas sectors but also to support the Partner States develop their fledgling petroleum industries.
“There are challenges in this area and we really need your support,” said the Cabinet Secretary.
Tullow speaks out
On his part, the Tullow Oil Executive Vice President for East Africa, Mr. Mark MacFarlane, disclosed that Tullow Oil had invested $2 billion in Kenya, and it was upbeat that they will hit the 200,000 barrels required for shipment.
Tullow discovered crude oil in Uganda in 2006 and later in Kenya in 2012 but no exports have been made as yet.
Addressing delegates on behalf of the Secretary General of the EAC, Amb. Liberat Mfumukeko, the Deputy Secretary General in charge of Productive and Social Sectors, Hon. Christophe Bazivamo, said a few years ago, the East African region did not attract significant investments in the oil and gas sector but that today, the region had benefited from advances in technology and management of exploration and production, which has led to the discovery of commercially viable oil and gas deposits.
“Recent discoveries were very impressive; Uganda has 6.5 billion barrels of oil and 500 Billion cubic feet (Bcf) of gas; Kenya 754 million barrels of oil, Tanzania 57.25 Trillion cubic feet (Tcf) of gas, Rwanda 63 billion cubic metres of methane gas and huge commercial reserves in South Sudan, and reports at hand indicate that exploration process in Burundi is also on going and that it has reached an advanced stage,” said Hon. Bazivamo.
He further told delegates the ongoing event aims at fulfilling one of the objectives of the Community enshrined in Chapter 19, Article 114 of the EAC Treaty and Article 40 of the EAC Common Market Protocol of promoting sustainable utilization of the natural resources of the Partner States and putting in place measures that would effectively protect the natural environment of the Partner States.
Hon. Bazivamo said exploitation of petroleum resources on the Continent, had certainly not achieved the intended socio-economic transformation, hence, “we have the obligation to draw lessons and ensure we are better off in the EAC region.”
“Since the inception of the EAPCE in, impressive achievements have been reported in every subsequent conference and I am happy to report that the EAC Partner States have established clear, harmonized, stable, regulatory, legal and fiscal frameworks that are supporting the achievements and developments in the sector,” he said.