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'We have sufficient stock,' KPC says after Samburu oil spill

By Hillary Orinde | September 23rd 2020

Kenya Pipeline Company personnel fix a broken pipe at KM40 Samburu. [Courtesy, KPC]

There will be no fuel shortage in the country following an huge oil spillage at Samburu, the Kenya Pipeline Company (KPC) has assured.

KPC holds it has enough stock in various depots spread across the country.

A leak on the Mombasa-Nairobi pipeline, popularly known as Line 1, Monday gushed litres of oil at Samburu.

The oil firm suspects the spillage started at 12:57 PM on September 21 after the line stopped following a drastic drop in pressure between Mariakini and Samburu.

The emergency teams were dispatched and arrived at the site of the leak some three minutes later, KPC Managing Director Macharia Irungu said.

"Emergency procedures were immediately initiated including containment and recovery of hydrocarbons by reticulation of the product back to pump station 14 in Kipevu," said Mr Irungu in a statement.

This immediately stopped the leak.

KPC said repairs of the raptured line were completed on Tuesday, September 22 and normal pumping of oil resumed at 12:45 PM on the same day.

"The clean-up of the site began immediately and is ongoing until the site is environmentally restored," said Mr Irungu.

According to KPC, Kenyans need not to be worried of a fuel shortage as the spillage didn’t dig into their reserve.

"KPC wishes to assure the public that the incident has not in any way affected product availability both in the country and in the region," noted Mr Irungu.

He added, "KPC will continue to enhance the existing Right of Way (ROW) inspection through aerial and ground patrols to boost the safety of the pipeline."

The oil spillage comes barely a week after a diesel shortage hit the country with many retail outlets turning away motorists due to stockouts.

A number of fuel stations said they had been unable to replenish their diesel stock and had emptied their tanks or were running low.

This came as retail prices remained virtually unchanged, with the cost of super petrol rising by Sh1.48 per litre while diesel and kerosene declined marginally.

The Ministry of Petroleum acknowledged there were supply hiccups but said it expected the supply to normalise by September 16.

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