Yasuaki Kagami - Yasuaki Global International Oil Ltd
Through YG-OIL, Japanese businessman Yasuaki Kagami intends to invest Ksh5 billion in the local market.

Humble in person and agile in business across four of the five continents of the world, Japanese businessman Yasuaki Kagami has finally touched down in Kenya, by starting a petroleum company Yasuaki Global International Oil (YG-OIL) Limited with Kenyan businessman Anthony Odiero as his key local partner.

YG-OIL is the Kenyan subsidiary of Lloyds’ Energy, the petroleum company that Mr Kagami is proprietor of in Dubai, and that he oversees perched like a global hawk on the lofty 14th Floor of the Jumeirah Lake Towers. Through YG-OIL, the Japanese tycoon intends to invest Ksh5 billion in the local market, as he told Business Daily upon landing by helicopter from Ukunda – where he had been privately holidaying – at the Kenya Flying School at Wilson last weekend to speak to students about the future challenges facing their industry.

Kenya Airways (KQ) pilots were recently on a strike that threw passenger schedules at JKIA into a hurricane – and fuel costs are part of the albatross around the neck of the national airline which, according to its chairman Michael Joseph, lost Ksh9.89 billion in the first six months of 2022, translating to about Ksh55 million in losses per day.

“The increase in oil prices and major currency fluctuations saw our operating costs rise to Ksh53.11 billion from Ksh34.68 billion last year (2021),” KQ CEO Allan Kilavuka said at the time of announcement. KQ has in the past lost Ksh26 billion by buying futures in the fuel market expecting the prices to go up, yet oil collapsed in the wake of pandémics like Covid-19, that also devastated airlines.

The Oil and Gas industry is considered one of the biggest sectors in the world in terms of monetary value. Both of these minerals are crucial to global economic development; think of everyday uses such as propelling vehicles, producing electricity, carrying out household functions and many others.

Individuals looking into entering or learning more about this sector can quickly be overwhelmed by the complex terms and unique metrics used all through the sector. It was not until 2012 when the first commercially viable oil discovery was made in the tertiary rift, and so far, over 86 wells have been drilled with a majority of them within this rift.

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According to local petroleum expert Geoffrey Nyasimi, the Oil and Gas industry is divided into three segments: Upstream, Midstream and Downstream. “While most of the companies are segmented, some of the companies are considered integrated,” says Mr Nyasimi.

Upstream companies focus on exploration and production of crude oil and natural gas through drilling to recover these resources both underground and underwater. Tullow Oil, Africa Oil and Total fall here.

Midstream companies handle the transportation and storage of the resources to different geographical locations that deals with refinery and rely heavily on upstream companies for production. The transportation takes place through tanker ships, trucking fleets or pipelines. Kenya Pipeline Corporation (KPC), which transports petroleum products from Mombasa to hinterland, is one of these.

Then there are companies that deal with refining raw materials and turn crude oil and natural gas into diesel, petrol, gasoline, lubricants, kerosene, jet fuel, heating oil, which is the sector that YG-Oil is targeting.

An estimate of over 4 billion barrels of crude oil reserves have been discovered in Lokichar.

Mr Kagami’s local oil company is starting operations just about the same time that the FIFA 2022 World Cup kicks off in Qatar, an interesting coincidence considering that Yasuaki Kagami’s best known business (ad)venture was when he became a major 38% shareholder of Plymouth Argyle football club back in 2008, shares that he later sold off – even as Plymouth continues to ply its trade in the respectable third tier of English football.

At the halfway point of the season (as we head into the World Cup break) is top of the League One table; and looks likely to be promoted to the Championship next season. That would be like a Disney-land dream.

Speaking of which, the Disneyland in Tokyo is also part of the business empire of the mogul Kagami, although he is a supplier-partner there to his older brother Toshio Kagami, CEO of the Tokyo Disney Resort and Chairman of the Oriental Land Company, worth about $500 million.

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