Revenue deal sets stage for Turkana oil exports

Oil exploration in Northern Kenya. FILE PHOTO | NMG
Oil exploration in Northern Kenya. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

Kenya is set to roll out its Early Oil Pilot Scheme (EOPS) to test and profile its wells just days after the government agreed on a revenue-sharing formula with Turkana residents.

President Uhuru Kenyatta is expected to flag off trucking of the commodity from Lokichar on June 3, in what State House said “will inject oil as a critical factor in the economy”.

The announcement was made following a meeting at State House, Nairobi, President Kenyatta chaired and attended by Tullow Oil, Africa Oil Corporation and Total and Turkana County leaders.

“We are ready to get started. This is important for our country as a whole, and for the community in the producing area,” the PSCU quoted President Kenyatta as having said at the meeting that discussed the early oil exports.

The EOPS aims to ship 2,000 barrels of oil per day to Mombasa by road. British explorer, Tullow Oil, which has invested Sh100 billion in Kenya’s oil fields over the past six years has been pushing for EOPS, seeing it as the first step towards recouping its investments.

Late last month, Turkana leaders gave their nod to the EOPS after they settled on five per cent revenue share for the community (against 10 per cent demanded earlier) and 20 per cent for county government.

Speaking at the meeting, Turkana governor Josphat Nanok said the Turkana community has been informed of the agreement on the sharing of revenue from the oil proceeds.

When the deal was reached last week, President Kenyatta celebrated a breakthrough that allocated “75 per cent for all Kenyans through the national government”.

“We now have an understanding that can put Kenya on the map of oil exporting countries. We will intensify our exploration efforts not just in Turkana but in the rest of the country now that we have a legal instrument that can help guide how oil and gas will be handled in our republic,” said the President.