Kenya will not export oil by 2022 as earlier indicated, but instead the first export of Kenyan oil is expected to be in 2024, according to British oil explorer Tullow Oil.
Tullow, which is commissioned with exploring oil in Turkana, says that Kenya will not have reached commercial production stage by 2022.
However, Kahawa Tungu learns that the delay could be as a result of failure for the government of Kenya to sign a Final Investment Decision (FID) with Tullow Oil and its partners. Without the FID, financiers cannot commit finances for laying of infrastructure and starting operations that could see Kenya earn Ksh150 billion annually.
Currently, Tullow Oil is involved in a non-commercial Early Oil Pilot Scheme, that is aimed at gathering market and production data ahead of the large-scale production.
“We are going to make the Final Investment Decision next year and then we will take 36 months to complete the construction works before we start venturing into commercial production. Kenya will have added a new revenue earner bigger than even those it gets from tea exports,” said Tullow Oil Kenya managing director Martin Mbogo.
It was expected that Tullow would have actualised full field development at the Turkana oilfields by the end of this year, while pipeline and other export infrastructure was expected to be ready by 2022.
After full development, Kenya’s oil production is expected to hit 70,000 to 100,000 barrels per day, against the current production of 2,000 barrels per day which is transported to Mombasa by road.
Reports by Business Daily indicate that the first 200,000 barrels will leave for China in about one week after Kenya sold its first crude to Beijing-based ChemChina Petrochemical Ltd.
This will earn the country at least $12 million (Ksh1.2 billion), but the amount is expected to cover costs of extracting and transporting oil, according to Petroleum principal secretary Andrew Kamau.