State pushes back early oil export date

Petroleum & Mining CS John Munyes (left) with his Uganda counterpart Peter Lokeris during the East African Petroleum Conference and Exhibition in Mombasa on Wednesday 8th May 2019. (Kelvin Karani, Standard)
Kenya could make its first shipment of crude oil in September, the Government has said, further delaying the process that was scheduled for June this year.

Mining and Petroleum Cabinet Secretary John Munyes said yesterday the country would transport 600 barrel of crude oil from Turkana County to Mombasa daily in order to reach the targeted 200,000 barrels for the first shipment.

Currently, the Government has stored 87,000 barrels of crude oil at the Kenya Petroleum Refineries Limited tanks in Mombasa in preparation for shipment.

“In this regard, we intend to transport about 600 barrels per day by road to Mombasa where over 87,000 barrels have been stored at the Kenya Petroleum Refineries storage tanks. Overall, we are targeting 200,000 barrels before export,” the CS explained.

SEE ALSO :Uhuru flags off Kenya’s first crude oil shipment

The CS spoke when he addressed the 9th East African Petroleum conference at Pride Inn Paradise resort in Mombasa county.

He did not reveal where the first export of oil would be destined as other officials said the issue was being addressed.

Mr Munyes said he was happy exploration work was going on in many parts of Kenya while petroleum pipelines were being constructed to serve western parts of the country and the East African region.

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“I am happy to note that up to date, a total of 94 wells have been drilled, 63 exploration blocks gazetted, 27 blocks licensed while 36 blocks are open for investors,” he said.

Munyes was accompanied by the ministry’s Chief Administrative Secretary John Mosonik and Principal Secretary for Petroleum Andrew Kamau.

SEE ALSO :Oil drops as recession risks mount

Tullow Oil Executive Vice-President Mark MacFarne said they were hopeful that the first shipment would happen in the third quarter of the year, adding that they have not made money after investing $2 billion (Sh200 billion) in Kenya.

“We hope to have the first shipment of crude oil out of Kenya in the third quarter of the year. Frontier exploration is always a high risk and capital intensive pursuit. We have invested over $4 billion (Sh400 billion) in Kenya and Uganda so far, and have not produced a drop of oil,” he said.

Tullow discovered crude oil in Uganda in 2006 and later in Kenya in 2012 but no exports have been made.

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