Kenya has joined the list of oil exporting nations after President Uhuru Kenyatta flagged off Kenya’s first oil export in Mombasa. The first consignment is 200,000 barrels of low sulphur petroleum, and it will be shipped by Chinese firm ChemChina, with the first batch costing Kshs 1.2 billion. President Kenyatta noted that the first export of crude oil marks a special moment in Kenya’s history. In 2012, commercially viable deposits of oil were discovered in Lokichar, Turkana County by Tullow Oil company, “With that discovery, Kenya began her march towards becoming and oil producing nation,” he said. The ship ferrying the oil, ‘Mv Celsius Riga’ left the Port of Mombasa on Monday, on its way to Malaysia.
The head of state noted that the government will ensure that local communities are major beneficiaries of the resources and that measures have been put in place to ensure the fruits of prosperity are shared with the devolved units and an equitable manner, “This greater prosperity must be jealously protected.” Tullow Oil has been transporting 2,000 barrels of oil per day from Turkana to Mombasa, at the Kenya Petroleum Refineries Limited, by trucks and the President said the Lesero Lokichar road will be upgraded and modification works will be done at the Kenya Petroleum Refineries Limited to support the early oil pilot scheme.
However, he added that the government is committed to sustainable development and natural resources will be utilized to yield maximum results but won’t compromise the interests of future generations. Several leaders were present during the flagging off event, including Petroleum CS John Munyes, Governors of Mombasa, Lamu, Kwale, West Pokot and the Turkana Deputy Governor. CS Munyes outlined plans to set up a pipeline from Turkana to Lamu are on course.