Kenya oil law draft for submission to Parliament soon

uhuru kenyatta-85202 September 2013, News Wires – The first draft of revised legislation for Kenya’s petroleum sector is set to be ready for parliamentary approval by November as the East African country seeks to exploit recent oil discoveries, according to a report.

Kenya’s petroleum regime, last updated in 1986, is set for a fresh revamp in the wake of finds by Tullow Oil and Canadian partner Africa Oil in the north-west of the country that have turned the exploration spotlight on its nascent oil play.

Tullow is now looking at a likely commercial development in Kenya’s Block 10BB in the prospective Lokichar basin after successful testing of its Ngamia-1 discovery that was followed by the Twiga South-1 find, with the pair estimated to hold recoverable oil reserves of 250 million barrels.

The UK explorer has also made a subsequent promising find with the Etuko-1 probe, while Africa Oil recently spudded a well at the Ekales prospect in Block 13T.

Energy & Petroleum Principal Secretary Joseph Njoroge said the draft would take about another three months to be ready for debate in parliament, Reuters reported.

“We want to ensure that the law is thorough, it is all-encompassing and there are no areas that would be left out,” he said.

The new law would also list new guidelines on natural gas exploitation, which is not adequately covered in the existing legislation.

The new laws will propose a clear delineation of roles in policy-making for the upstream, midstream and downstream sections of the sector to avert any overlaps and to reduce inefficiency.

Njoroge also said the government was seeking expressions of interest from potential bidders to finance a proposed pipeline to transport crude oil from Uganda to the Kenyan coastal town of Lamu on the Indian Ocean, where the government is planning to build a new port.

In June, Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni and Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta agreed to co-operate on a pipeline route that could also eventually ship oil from South Sudan.

“There are very many interested players and firms that are willing to do the work and provide financing,” Njoroge said.

– Upstream

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