GREASING THE WHEELS OF KENYAS NASCENT OIL AND GAS SECTOR

Posted on :Thursday , 4th April 2019

Discovery of oil and gas reserves provides significant opportunities of development for Kenya and other countries. Being conscious that production and exploration and production carry quite a few health and environmental risks,

The Kenyan government is keen to put in the necessary safeguards. Being the largest greenhouse gas emitters the Oil and Gas industry are one of the largest emitters particularly of methane, which is more harmful than carbon dioxide. The community and countries transition towards low carbon and green economies global demand for energy will depend on fossil fuels for the next three decades at least.

 Kenya launched a pilot scheme to transport about 2,000 barrels of Oil per day from Turkana to the port city of Mombasa by road in June 2018. Several environmental challenges are faced by Kenya's oil and gas industry. Some include lack of institutional capacity, infrastructure, finance, land access, regulatory and legal frameworks among others. 

It is important to enhance transparency and accountability and also put in place sound environmental management measures and legislative and regulatory frameworks as the country gears up to export oil and Gas. UN Environment with the support from the Government of Norway, organized a four-day training event on promoting Sound Environmental Management in may 2018 on Oil and Gas Exploration and Production for Kenyan government officials and representatives of private and civil society sector. Agencies of national and local governments as well as Officials from ministries attended the training. The aim of the event was to enhance the participant's understanding about Gas and Oil production and exploration and raising awareness about issues related to the environment.

Between 1988 and 2013 Kenya experienced   five oil spills in Mombasa County, therefore oil related disasters are not a new subject for Kenya but they have learnt how to come up with measures that will deal with it quickly and permanently.

The governments of Norway and the UN Environment since 2016 have been collaborating to strengthen environmental management in the sectors of Oil and Gas in about 14 countries including Kenya. Oil for development programme is Norway's five-year initiative, which aims at reducing environmental risks associated with the development of hydrocarbon resources through the provision of capacity building, partnerships, and assistance.

On the 19th of July 2018, the Oil for development programme had organized a webinar which aimed at highlighting key environmental consideration related to gas and oil exploration and production .targeting practitioners in the Oil and Gas sector the forum included policymakers, academia and the public In early June 2018, the transfer of stored crude oil to Mombasa, by road, commenced. The EOPS will transport oil produced from injection and production testing at the Ngami and Amosing fields. Trucks are currently transporting approximately 600 bopd and this is expected to increase to 2,000 bopd once the EOPS is fully operational in April 2019.A maiden lifting of Kenyan crude oil is expected in mid-2019.

This has since been followed by further exploration success in the South Lokichar Basin at the Amosing, Twiga, Etuko, Ekales-1, Agete, Ewoi, Ekunyuk, Etom, Erut and Emekuya oil accumulations.

 

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