The Kenyan government has approved a plan to start crude oil production, with the aim of reaching up to 4,000 barrels a day, as the country seeks to tap its newly discovered oil resources.
Tullow Oil Chief Operating Officer Paul McDade confirmed that it will start oil production in March next year and added that his company has made good progress and will be ready to start oil exportation in June 2017.
As part of the plan, infrastructure will be upgraded to allow trucks to ferry the oil to the main port in Mombasa, according to a statement from the president’s communications department.
The plan has the potential to deliver as much as 2,000 barrels a day in the second half of 2017, according to Tullow oil PLC, which is undertaking the exploration. Tullow discovered oil in Kenya in 2012 and estimates there are 750 million barrels of recoverable resources.
The cabinet also approved the development of a pipeline from the exploration fields in the country’s north to Lamu, where Kenya is constructing a second port, which in the future will be the main source of transportation for crude oil from Kenya.
Kenya’s decision comes at a time when global oil prices are recovering from record lows. Recent reports from the International Energy Agency indicate that the long-standing oversupply is declining even as the world’s leading exporters pump at record levels.
Kenya is optimistic that by 2019, it is going to be a major oil producer and exporter.