Kenya has joined the league of crude oil exporters in Africa.
President Uhuru Kenyatta flagged off the maiden oil shipment today at a ceremony in the port of Mombasa, with a warning against corruption that may deny people the opportunity to benefit from the resource.
The crude oil will be shipped by Chinese state-owned firm ChemChina which won the tender to buy the maiden Kenyan oil at a premium early this month, the Standard of Kenya reported.
The Government on August 1 announced that the oil produced in Turkana and stacked at the Kenya Petroleum Refineries Ltd’s (KPRL) storage facilities in Mombasa would be sold at Sh1.2 billion ($12 million).
Uhuru said the country with its partners will continue to pursue natural resources but without compromising the future generation.
He said more resources would be channelled into upgrading infrastructure that would ease transport of oil from the fields to the port.
“The government will ensure that the local communities benefit from the oil and that the fruits of the resource are also shared in an equitable and sustainable manner.
“I urge all those in charge to avoid any misuse of the resource that would deny others from its benefit,” he added.
Petroleum Cabinet Secretary John Munyes said plans are underway to have a pipeline between Turkana and Lamu Port to ease transportation of the oil.
“The 2020 plan for a pipeline connecting Lokichar-Lamu are on track, we need more commitments on land and water to enable us to move faster with everything,” he added.
Representatives from Tullow Oil, Total, and governors from Lamu, Mombasa, West Pokot, Kwale, Taita Taveta and Turkana Deputy Governor attended the Monday event.
The export of the Crude Oil will start with a shipment of 200,000 barrels marking Kenya’s entry into the league of oil-exporting countries, the Standard said.
Tullow estimates that Kenya’s onshore fields in Turkana hold 560 million barrels of oil and expects them to produce up to 100,000 barrels per day from 2022.