The Ministry of Petroleum and Mining Principal Secretary (PS), Andrew Kamau has dismissed concerns that there is secrecy shrouding the Kenya’s oil exports, saying that all information is out in the public domain.
Kamau noted that the government has made public the production-sharing agreement signed with Tullow Oil and its joint venture partners for Kenyans to know how the resources generated will be utilized.
The PS, who spoke on Tuesday during a media brief in Nairobi on the progress report on Early Oil Pilot Scheme (EOPS) said that any Kenyan citizen can also download the Petroleum Bill and read for themselves what is contained therein, and any other information needed has been made public.
Various Sector lobby groups earlier in the month raised concerns over the secrecy shrouding Kenya’s oil exports, saying it does not augur well for transparency in the sector.
Kenya reportedly managed to get a premium price for its sweet light crude which sold at $60 per barrel, an uptick of nearly 40 per cent above the $43 per barrel that the government had set as the break-even point for the Early Oil Pilot Scheme (EOPS).
According to the PS, the first shipment will leave the port of Mombasa at the end of the month following the upgrade of the existing pipeline and completion of a ship-loading facility.
The Kenya Civil Society Platform on Oil and Gas Coordinator, Charles Wanguhu had led his team in saying that they have noted with deep concern that the government has adopted an attitude of non-disclosure.
To facilitate exportation of the crude, the Kenya Pipeline Company has completed the modification of the pipeline to incorporate a heating component which will help the waxy Turkana oil to flow to ships.
“We have already spent about 2 billion US dollars on exploration with almost Sh. 250 million going to the upgrading of the pipeline,” said Kamau who added that all cost that have gone to the oil production is coverable.
The 18-inch pipeline runs a distance of 4.5 km from the Kenya Petroleum Refinery Ltd storage tanks to the Kipevu oil terminal, Kenya’s main docking facility for oil tankers in the Indian Ocean.
Kamau maintained the scheme is necessary as a precursor to full development and commercialization of the crude oil business, and is not a money-making operation.
The Chinese State-owned petroleum multinational won the deal to buy Kenya’s maiden crude oil export, giving the Asian nation an upper hand in negotiations when the country moves to commercial production of the commodity.
The Chinese firm, which is the oil trading arm of ChemChina Petrochemical, is engaged in crude oil trading, storage and procurement for ChemChina refinery companies.
The Tullow Oil, which has the largest interests in oil in Kenya, with a 50 per cent stake, and has been pushing for exports under the EOPS, is seeking to recoup its investment, estimated at $1.8 billion.
By Alice Gworo