Government to award offshore drilling tenders, says Petroleum P.S Kamau
Kenyan government is in the process of awarding tenders for the exploration of Kenya’s offshore for oil.
Petroleum Principal Secretary, State Department for Petroleum, Andrew Kamau said offshore exploration holds the biggest potential for increasing Kenya’s oil production which currently stands at 120,000 barrels a day.
Speaking to Metropol TV’s Business AM show PS Kamau expressed satisfaction in the progress made by the country since it joined oil producing countries.
In August 2019, Kenya commenced its journey towards joining the league of the world’s oil producing countries after exporting its first shipment of 200,000 barrels of crude oil.
This coming after almost a decade of exploration activity in Turkana’s Lokichar region.
British multinational oil and gas exploration company, Tullow Oil estimates that Turkana’s oil fields hold about 560,000,000 barrels of oil, translating to a potential to produce 100,000 barrels of crude per day.
Exploration is continuing. What we are working on for 2021 is the field development plan. The land acquisition process has begun in Turkana and along the Turkwel.
But the timelines around the process of developing the Turkana region for oil production activities are pegged on how quickly the government will accomplish the acquisition and compensation of land required for the oil exploration project.
In 2019, Turkana County Government moved to court seeking conservatory orders to stop the government through the Ministry of Petroleum and Mining from acquiring land for the project.
This is partly why the government is now looking to venture into offshore oil exploration to supplement the country’s oil fields in the north eastern region.
We have gone out to do the multi-client three dimensional size mix study to establish availability of the oil on the sea. We will towards the end of next year go to the market and pitch what we find to potential explorers.
The move comes slightly over a year after Qatar Petroleum announced that it had acquired three offshore explorations in the Lamu basin after it signed an agreement with french multinational oil and gas company, Total and its Italian peer, ENI.
The three blocks – which are situated in what is considered to be a frontier and largely unexplored area in the Lamu basin, have a total area of approximately 15,000 square kilometres, with water depths ranging from about 1000 to 3000 metres.
Meanwhile, Tanzania and Uganda have signed an agreement allowing for the construction of a 1,445 kilometres (898 miles) crude oil pipeline.
The Ksh. 379.75 billion project, will connect Uganda’s oil fields to Tanzania’s port of Tanga.
Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni and his Tanzania’s counterpart John Pombe Magufuli signed the deal in the Tanzanian Northern town of Chato.
However, there was no announcement during the ceremony on the project’s start date or on who would finance what is set to become East Africa’s first major oil pipeline.
French oil giant, total is leading the plans along with China’s China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC), and the governments of Uganda and Tanzania.
Oil reserves were found in Uganda in 2006 but production has been delayed partly by a lack of infrastructure including an export pipeline.