- CS Munyes said the pandemic might push Kenya’s dream of oil exporting country from the target of 2022 to 2024
- He said the Government contract with Tullow Oil was expiring and they had to discuss and agreed to extent to 15months for them to finish
Petroleum and Mining Cabinet Secretary John Munyes has said the Covid-19 pandemic has slowed down oil exploration in Turkana.
He said the pandemic might push Kenya’s hope o become an oil exporting country from the initial target of 2022 to 2024.
In August 2019 Kenya’s dream to join the league of petroleum exporting countries became a reality as the first consignment of Kenya crude oil under the Early Oil Production Scheme left the port of Mombasa.
The consignment of 200,000 barrels from Kenya’s oil fields in Turkana County destined for the United Kingdom was worth Sh1.2 billion, a price higher than what was initially projected.
“Oil exploration was successfully in Turkana, we did the crude oil trucking that was marketed and gone through the pilot phase of a marketing crude.
The client suspended operation due to Covid-19 pandemic and international issues such as crude oil prices and the problem affecting Tullow Oil in West Africa,” CS Munyes told the Star, in an interview.
He said Government in conjunction with Tullow Oil decided to suspend oil exploration in Turkana oil basin.
Munyes said the government's contract with Tullow was coming to an end but after this was discussion, a 15 month extension was granted to enable them finish the preparations that will lead to final investment decision.
“In a period of 15 months it will be a clean up to finalise the first phase of upstream and get to midstream that’s the construction of pipeline from Lokichar to Lamu,” he said.
Munyes said the pipeline will help to lift a minimum of 80,000 barrels a day.
“Covid-19 has affected all of us, it has affected the oil exploration and that’s a good explanation I can give. The pandemic might push our dreams of oil exporting target of 2022 to 2023 or 2024,” he said.
In August Tullow lifted its declaration of force majeure on its main license in Kenya, a move that was feared would further delay the final investment decision expected this year.
The company’s partner Africa Oil said the lifting will pave way the resumption of activities in Turkana oil fields after easing of Covid-19 restrictions.