President Kenyatta flags-off Kenya’s first oil export from Mombasa

President Uhuru Kenyatta flagged-off the maiden shipment of Kenyan crude oil at the Kipevu, port of Mombasa on Monday

This means that Kenya has entered the league of oil exporting countries in the world, and is set to commence with a shipment of 200,000 barrels. The crude oil, is from north part of Turkana County, in Lokichar, mined by a British firm, Tullow oil.

First batch of the product, has already been bought by a Chinese firm, ChemChina UK Ltd at a cost of approximately Ksh.1.2 billion (USD12 million) and will be exported to Malaysia.

“Indeed our efforts came to fruition in 2012 when we discovered commercially viable deposits of oil in South Lokichar basin in Turkana County, and with that discovery, Kenya began her match towards  becoming an oil producing nation.” Said President Kenyatta, adding that “the flag-off and commencement of the early oil pilot scheme in June 2019, marked the beginning of what promises to be long but fruitful journey towards full development of Kenya’s oil and gas resources.”

According to the President’s speech, Kenya now has knowledge and the infrastructure required to transport its own oil to Mombasa for exportation, and will be marked by production and pipeline transportation of first oil to the port of Lamu.

He said Kenya stands to benefit from the crude oil, an indicator for prosperity where many local communities will reap the benefits from the resource..

“The early oil pilot scheme has also brought it with prosperity for the people of Turkana but also the wider republic with very many local communities directly benefiting from employment opportunities in production and logistics in addition to the provision of auxiliary and support services.” He added.

On August 1, the head of state made an announcement that Kenya had joined oil exporting countries in the world and had exported its first crude oil.

“We are now an oil exporter. Our first deal was concluded this afternoon with 200,000 barrels at a price of 12 million US dollars,” said President Kenyatta.

Since last year, Tullow Oil has been running a pilot scheme of transporting some 2,000 barrels of oil per day by trucks to Mombasa from Turkana.

This is to test flow rates and other technical issues before the start of full production and exports via a pipeline to be built by 2022.

Tullow estimates that Kenya’s fields in Turkana hold up to 560 million barrels of oil and expects to produce 60,000 to 100,000 barrels per day of gross production from 2024, which is said to be insufficient to warrant the construction of a refinery locally, hence the export plans.

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Lawrence Baraza is a prolific writer with competencies in Digital Media, Print, and Broadcast. Baraza is also a Communication Practitioner currently spearheading Digital content on Metropol TV's Digital Desk.

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