Kenya plans export of oil stuck in KPRL storage tanks


The Kenya Petroleum Refinery Limited facility in Changamwe, Mombasa in this picture taken on June 24, 2013. FILE PHOTO | NMG

Kenya plans to export 400,000 barrels of oil stuck in Mombasa tanks since the closure of the refinery in 2013 together with the Turkana crude, paving the way for oil marketers to recoup losses from the commodity they had imported earlier.

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The 400,000 barrels is made up of crude oil, residue of refined oil and naphtha or flammable oil.

The cargo belongs to oil marketers who were obligated to refine a portion of their crude at the defunct Kenya Petroleum Refineries Limited (KPRL) at a fee before it shut down.

The modification of the refinery to allow crude move in reverse from storage tanks to ships has allowed the marketers to export the cargo that has sat in tanks since 2013.

The pipeline at the refinery was designed to move crude oil from ships to Kenya Petroleum Refinery Limited (KPRL) — which has not been operational since 2013 after plans for a $1.2 billion upgrade were abandoned on the advice of consultants who said it was not economically viable.  

Petroleum Principal Secretary Andrew Kamau yesterday said the government seeks to sell the crude on behalf of the oil companies after discussions with them. “We have told them we have a ship coming to collect the Turkana crude in June, we can sell your crude at the same time, but we are not forcing them,” said Mr Kamau.

“The ship has compartments to accommodate the different components of the deadstock, comprising naphtha, high sulfur diesel, and Murban crude,” said Mr Kamau.

The government wants to dispose of the deadstock alongside the Turkana oil small-scale exports (2,000 barrels) which will only occupy a small fraction of the ship per trip.

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