NAIROBI – For the first time in its history, Kenya has become a country that exports crude oil.
According to The East African, the first batch of 200,000 barrels was sold at auction for $12.6 million. It was bought by a Chinese company.
The solemn shipping ceremony of the first oil tanker ship in Kenya took place in the port of Mombasa. President Uhuru Kenyatta personally raised the national flag on the ship.
According to Tullow Oil CEO Paul McDade, pilot oil shipments will be made in small batches over the course of 18-24 months so that buyers can assess the quality of Kenyan hydrocarbons. Commercial production is expected to be launched in 2023.
Oil was discovered in Kenya in 2012, in the Lokichar Valley in the west of the country. The reserves are estimated at 560 million barrels. The extraction began in 2018.
Petroleum principal secretary Andrew Kamau Thursday revealed that ChemChina (UK) Ltd won the bid to lift the Turkana oil, in what marks Kenya’s entry into the league of oil exporting countries.
The Chinese firm, which is the oil trading arm of ChemChina Petrochemical, is engaged in crude oil trading, storage and procurement for ChemChina’s refinery companies.
The firm also has a presence in West Africa, according to its online profile.
“Kenyan government and Tullow Oil Plc together with its Joint Venture Partners in Kenya (Total and Africa Oil Corp) are pleased to announce that ChemChina UK Ltd has been selected as the buyer for Kenya’s first crude oil export.”
The European Commission is mobilising $55.9 million for emergency humanitarian funding to help people hit by drought in four countries in the Horn of Africa.
The biggest portion of humanitarian aid package goes to Somalia as $27.9 million will support drought affected communities, Ethiopia receives $22.3 million, Kenya $3.3 million and Uganda $2.2 million to fight famine.
It is estimated that 13 million people need emergency food assistance due to drought caused by two consecutive poor rain seasons. The $55.9 million will assist humanitarian agencies to scale up action in hardest hit areas.