Kenya has joined the league of oil-exporting countries after signing its first deal worth US$12 million (Ksh 1.2 billion).
The move marks a step forward in the country’s Early Oil Pilot Scheme (EOPS), which has faced setbacks in the past especially with regard to transportation of the crude oil from the Lokichar fields in Turkana to Mombasa.
“We are now an oil exporter. Our first deal was concluded this afternoon with 200,000 barrels at a price of 12 million US dollars. So, I think we have started the journey and it is up to us to ensure that those resources are put to the best use to make our country both prosperous and to ensure we eliminate poverty,” President Uhuru Kenyatta announced after chairing a Cabinet meeting at State House, Nairobi on Thursday.
On June 3 last year, President Kenyatta flagged off four trucks with 156 barrels of Crude Oil from Lokichar in Turkana to Mombasa for storage at Kenya Oil Refineries Limited.
However, the programme was slowed by the fact that Tullow was only able to transport 600 barrels per day. However, this was raised the volume to 2,000 in May.
In its latest trading update, Tullow had said the oil stocks were ready for export in September.
“200,000 barrels of oil have been safely delivered to Mombasa. Tullow expects East Africa’s first export cargo of oil to be sold and lifted in the third quarter of 2019,” the update partly read.
According to Pumps Africa, the oil stocks are valued at about US$ 12 million based on the international crude oil prices of about US$63 per barrel.
Kenya’s commercial oil deposits are currently estimated at 750 million barrels.