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Kenya Resumes Oil Trucking To Port After Local Standoff Ends

Crude oil trucking from the oil fields in the northern Kenyan county of Turkana to Mombassa resumed on Thursday, after local residents agreed to let trucks move out of the fields and end protests in which they had demanded improved security and clarity on how Kenya’s future oil exports would help the local community.

Commercial quantities of crude oil in Kenya were discovered in 2012 in the South Lokichar Basin in the north. Tullow Oil, which discovered the resources, has continued its exploration and appraisal drilling campaigns in Kenya.

In early June, Kenya sent the first trucks transporting crude oil from the oil-rich but landlocked northern region of Turkana to the port of Mombassa, for the country’s first oil exports as part of a pilot export scheme. Under the Early Oil Pilot Scheme, 2,000 bpd will be transported to Mombasa by road for eventual shipment, Kenya said at the time.

However, Tullow Oil stopped all operations in its Kenyan oil fields in July, citing unaddressed security fears as local hostility mounts. A few days earlier, Tullow Oil had threatened to shut down its oil wells in the Lokichar basin if the government does not act soon to remedy production, security, and transportation problems.

Earlier this month, the government of Kenya and the local subsidiary of Tullow Oil agreed to resume oilfield operations in Turkana.

Last week, Kenya said that after the government intervention to end the road blockade, Tullow Oil was set to resume full-time oil trucking on Thursday, August 23.

Speaking to local media on Wednesday, Kenya’s Petroleum and Mining Cabinet Secretary John Munyes said that “Critical issues we addressed were local content, how all stakeholders will be engaging in case there is a disagreement, as well as how the community will benefit when the country starts exporting oil.”

By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com

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