Make early oil contract public, lobby tells State

Armed police officers escort containers loaded with crude oil from the Ngamia 8 Oil Well in Nakukulas, Turkana County. [Kevin Tunoi/Standard]
The Government should disclose the terms under which the Early Oil Pilot Scheme (EOPS) is being undertaken, an oil and gas lobby has said.

The Kenya Civil Society on Oil and Gas (KCSPOG) said yesterday the secrecy surrounding the project could come back to haunt the country in future. This is as Kenya starts exporting oil on a pilot basis ahead of planned commercial production and export in 2022.

KCSPOG said despite such disclosures being a constitutional requirement, the Petroleum and Mining Ministry had failed to publish the terms under which Tullow Oil and its joint venture partners in the project – Total and Africa Oil – have been engaged to undertake the small scale production and export.

The group said the Petroleum and Mining Ministry had chosen to withhold information despite a formal request for the content of the contracts signed with Tullow for both the pilot project and the Production Sharing Contracts (PSCs) signed earlier.

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"EOPS has been shrouded in secrecy since its flagging off in June 2018… the fact that the Government of Kenya has refused to publicise the PSC for EOPS that was signed in 2018 is a violation of Article 35 of the Constitution of Kenya on Access to Information,” said the lobby in a statement.

The Government last week said it had identified a buyer for some 200,000 barrels of oil produced in Turkana and trucked to Mombasa by road. The oil will earn an estimated Sh1.2 billion.

The early oil programme is designed to offer learnings for the country as it gears up for the commercial phase and will run until 2021. The Government has over time insisted that it is only a test run that will not be profitable.

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Early Oil Pilot SchemeEOPSPetroleum and Mining MinistryTullow Oil