The Ministry of Petroleum and Mining has confirmed that Kenya will make its first shipment of crude oil in June 2019.
According to the Cabinet Secretary, John Munyes, Turkana’s Tullow Oil has already transported 87,000 barrels of crude oil from Lokichar the Kenya Oil Refineries Limited in Mombasa for storage.
The crude oil shipment will happen only after Kenya hits the 200,000-barrel mark.
CS Munyes, speaking on May 8 during the official opening of the 9th East Africa Petroleum Conference at Pride Inn Hotel Mombasa, noted that Kenya is poised to become a huge Crude Oil exporter.
“By June this year, we hope the oil that we have been transporting from Lokichar to Mombasa will hit the 200,000 barrels. We’ll have the 200,000 barrels getting into vessel, ready for shipment,” said Munyes.
June will make one year since President Uhuru Kenyatta flagged off the first four vessels with 156 barrels of Crude Oil from Lokichar to Mombasa.
“The biggest challenge we’ve encountered is that we can only transport up to 600 barrels of Crude Oil per day,” said Tullow Oil Executive Vice President for East Africa, Mark MacFarlane
MacFarlane added that they had to re-apply for approvals licenses from National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) and the Energy and Petroleum Regulatory Authority (EPRA) to be allowed to increase the volume to 2,000 barrels per day.
“When the President flagged off the first trucks on June 3, 2018, we only had a license to transport up to 600 barrels per day. To allow us 2,000 barrels per day, we had to get NEMA and Energy and Petroleum Regulatory Authority to approve that. We received those licenses last week,” he said.
Tullow Oil states that they are now positive that they will be able to hit the 200,000 barrels required for the first shipment. The company has invested a total of 2 billion US dollars in Kenya.
Currently, the country has a total of 94 wells of oil that have been drilled, 63 exploration blocks that have been gazetted, 276 blocks licensed while 36 other blocks are open to investors.
The national government is putting up an 820km, twenty-inch diameter, South Lokichar-Lamu crude oil pipeline that will connect Turkana to Lamu Port. It is expected to be ready by 2022.
The line will reduce the amount of time spent on transportation of crude oil via the trucks.