Kenya is forging partnerships with neighboring East African countries that will see the construction of several oil pipelines as it seeks to become the hub for refined oil products in the region.
Kenya’s Energy Minister Kiraitu Murungi has reveled plans to construct a pipeline to supply oil to Tanzania.
“We shall talk to the government of Tanzania to see how we can supply them through a pipeline to Arusha,” said Murungi.
Kenya will also partner with South Sudan to build a 2,000km crude oil pipeline between the two countries starting June next year. The $3 billion pipeline will be used to transport between 700,000 to one million barrels of crude oil from South Sudan to other countries via the proposed Lamu Port in Kenya.
“A turn-off branch is also scheduled for construction to link Ethiopia. “We expect the pipeline to be up and running by June 2015,” said Murungi.
Kenya is also planning to build a refinery in Isiolo which will be crucial once commercial exploitation of oil reserves recently discovered in Turkana County kick off. Another pipeline will be built to link the Isiolo refinery to Nakuru town for distribution of products to western Kenya and northern Uganda.
“We hope to make Isiolo a hub for refined products both from Kenya and South Sudan. Our prime concern will be to satisfy the domestic needs and those of the region. Any excesses will be pumped and exported through the port of Lamu,” he said.
Energy permanent secretary Patrick Nyoike adding that feasibility on the planned Isiolo refinery will begin soon.
“We are looking at a refinery with a capacity of processing a minimum 100,000 barrels a day because any capacity below that would not be economically viable,” said Nyoike.
Kiraitu said Kenya will begin exporting its oil after it meets domestic demand.
“We are only going to export what we don’t need, fast tracking the construction of the pipeline would come in handy when looking at exporting the extra oil that we expect as we continue to discover more wells,”
Tullow Oil Plc, the company exploring oil in Kenya has indicated the oil find in Ngamia-1 could be larger than Uganda’s.
This ongoing wildcat is an excellent start to our exploration campaign. The net pay encountered so far in Ngamia-1 is more than double that encountered in any of our East African exploration wells to date. We now look forward to the drilling and evaluation of the deeper potential of this well and the acceleration of our seismic and drilling campaigns in the region.” said Angus McCoss, Exploration Director at Tullow in a statement in May this year.