Tullow Oil has halted its oil exploration operations in Turkana as well as trucking operations due to security issues. The news were announced by Tullow Chief Executive Paul McDade who spoke to Reuters.
Turkana residents started protests due to insecurity issues, vowing that operations at the oil field would not go on until the government resolved the insecurity issue.
President Uhuru Kenyatta flagged off the pilot scheme in June, which currently trucks around 600 barrels of oil per day to Mombasa by road.
“What you saw locally was the local people, the community, using the trucking operation as a lever, really, to demonstrate to the national government that the security situation on the ground had to improve,” Mr McDade said. “It’s not a big issue for us.”
“We’d expect to be up there working, getting the field back operating again and trucks moving again in the near future. But it’s important to take the time out so that when we do return, we have a more secure environment.”
Tullow is targeting production of at least 100,000 barrels of oil per day after first oil in 2021/22.
Media reports indicated that the company could have lost at least Ksh200 million due to the stalemate with the local community, as it pays for the leased equipment that is idle on site.
“The pilot is a data gathering exercise and it is about lessons. There were some distractions to trucking over the last couple of weeks and these are exactly the type of issues that we are trying to flush out,” said McDade.
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