HOPE

Turkana Oil exploration still on course - CS Munyes

In Summary
  •  The government and partners are committed to getting enough oil in Turkana for commercialization
  • The consignment of 200,000 barrels from oil fields in Turkana County destined for the United Kingdom was worth Sh1.2 billion

Trucks loaded with crude oil from Turkana heading to Lamu, Mombasa.
Trucks loaded with crude oil from Turkana heading to Lamu, Mombasa.
Image: HESBORN ETYANG

The cabinet secretary for Petroleum and Mining John Munyes has announced that oil exploration in Turkana is still on course.

CS Munyes said the government and partners are committed to getting enough oil in Turkana for commercialization.

“We are trying to look for funds for the construction of the pipeline and soon we will get a partner to build the pipeline from Turkana to Lamu with all accessories to transport oil,”

“It’s an easy task, with the support of Africa oil and Tullow oil we want to try more than 300 wells of oil in Turkana North and central to see if we can get enough oil for commercialization purposes,” he said.

He said they did trucking of oil from Turkana to Lamu whereby 2,000 barrels were transported per day but now they want 80,000 barrels to be transported per day for Kenya to start getting profit from oil proceeds.

In February Munyes said the government needed Sh500 billion for the infrastructure to enable transportation of oil from Turkana to Lamu.

He said the market of Turkana oil was tested and found out that Turkana oil is sweet and marketable.

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.

CS Munyes said, “After the testing of Turkana oil, we want to make it commercially viable by putting up (infrastructure) pipeline that will enable the transportation of Oil from Lokichar oil basin to Lamu for export,”

“We have a challenge, we need Sh500 billion for the infrastructure that will enable the transportation of Oil from Lokichar oil basin to Lamu. That’s the money that the ministry doesn’t have, we don’t have to lose hope we have designed the project and it’s ready,” CS Munyes said.

The fields already produced about 2,000 barrels of oil daily as part of an early production system. The oil is trucked from Turkana to Mombasa. The first cargo of 200,000 barrels was shipped on a tanker last August.

Munyes said the pipeline will help to lift a minimum of 80,000 barrels a day.

CS Munyes said plans to have a joint Lamu Port South Sudan Ethiopia Transport (Lapsset) are underway that will enable a pipeline to traverse Ethiopia, South Sudan, Kenya and pass through Turkana, Isiolo, Samburu, Garissa, Meru to Lamu for export oil,” he said.

Last year in July, Turkana County leaders led by Turkana Governor Josphat Nanok called for an audit of Tullow Oil operations.

In a meeting attended by Turkana Lawmakers, Nanok decried limited information on activities related to petroleum in the South Lokichar basin.

“We face the challenge of accessing critical information shared by the government. The Turkana County Grievances Management Committee has been left in the dark,” Governor Nanok said.

The summit, attended by lawmakers from the region and deputy governor Peter Lotethiro, resolved that Governor Nanok writes to Petroleum and Mining CS John Munyes seeking a briefing on Tullow Oil operations.