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Kenya oil export journey begins

President Uhuru Kenyatta flags off one of the four trucks loaded with crude oil from Ngamia Eight yesterday during the launch of the Early Oil Pilot Scheme. PHOTO | JARED NYATAYA | NMG
President Uhuru Kenyatta flags off one of the four trucks loaded with crude oil from Ngamia Eight Sunday June 3, 2018 during the launch of the Early Oil Pilot Scheme. PHOTO | JARED NYATAYA | NMG 

President Uhuru Kenyatta has pledged to ensure every Kenyan benefits from the proceeds of Turkana oil as the country started moving the resource by road yesterday ahead of exports.

Oil exports look set to diversify the country’s exports, boost hard currency inflows and ultimately make imports like cars and machinery more affordable.

“We will ensure every Kenyan has benefited from the oil,” Mr Kenyatta said during the flagging off of the first four trucks from Turkana to Mombasa’s seaport. 

It marked the kick-off of the early oil pilot scheme (EOPS) that has dragged on since mid-last year. The small-scale export plan aims to test the global supply logistics and determine the price-point for the Turkana oil. “This is high quality oil and we expect it to trade well in the global market,” Tullow Group CEO Paul McDade said at the launch in Lokichar basin.

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The trucked oil will be stored at the defunct refinery until the stockpile reaches at least 400,000 barrels, enough to fill up an oil tanker for shipment abroad.

That’s set for early next year based on the capacity and the number of trucks involved. Up to 110 trucks will haul some 2,000 barrels of oil per day under the early oil export plan.

Each truck has a capacity to haul 150 barrels of crude and will take 10 days to do a round-trip.

“The first ship will be loaded in January or early February next year,” said Petroleum principal secretary Andrew Kamau.

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