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Nairobi meeting set to drill into Kenya’s oil opportunities

More than 500 senior oil and gas executives are expected to converge on Nairobi in March as Kenya remains poised to become a hub of oil and gas exploration.

The East Africa Oil & Gas Summit & Exhibition (EAOGS 2020), now in its sixth edition, will bring together government officials and national oil companies and investors to examine the hugely significant opportunities present across the region.

Charles Kahuthu, regional coordinator and CEO of the East African Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture (EACCIA), co-organisers of the event, said: “The scope, scale and spread of current and future oil and gas infrastructure development projects in East Africa is positioning the region as a hotbed of oil and gas exploration, investment and development.”

Kenya has become the hub of the sector in the region after Tullow Oil struck oil in the remote Turkana region in 2012. It estimates the basin contains 560 million barrels in proven and probable reserves, which would translate to 60,000 to 100,000 barrels per day of gross production.

The country sent its first oil shipment from Mombasa in August 2019; 200,000 barrels of low sulphur crude, produced under an early-oil pilot scheme (EOPS), sold to Chinese chemicals firm ChemChina UK for KES1.2bn ($10mn).

In October 2019, The National Oil Corporation of Kenya invited tenders to build an oil exploration laboratory at its Nairobi Kawi House headquarters. The lab is intended to assist Kenya in making geochemical and petro physical analyses for the Kenyan oil and gas industry and potential foreign investors.

Development of the Kenyan oil business has not been without challenges, however. Tullow is seeking to build an 820km pipeline from a 433-hectare oil production and processing facility in Turkana to Lamu port in northern Kenya for export.

The project has been delayed as Kenya’s National Environment Management Agency is ordering further community consultations, as part of environmental and social impact assessments. Tullow also needs to finalise a water supply agreement with the neighbouring county, and any necessary land purchases. Should the pipeline and the oil facilities go ahead, production is expected to start in late 2023.

Security issues are also a concern. Domestic media reported that Kenya’s first oil shipment was halted while travelling by road to the port by local Turkana communities concerned they would not receive a sufficiently large share of state oil revenues.

As such, the EAOGS event will examine the opportunities, progress, development and challenges going forward for the region’s rapidly advancing oil and gas industry.

Officially supported by Kenya’s Ministry of Energy and Petroleum, it will feature more than 35 high-level speakers including ministry officials, senior executives and industry experts from NOCs, IOCs, financial institutions, government authorities and embassies, service companies and industry associations.

Other vital topics will include: New markets and an update on licensing rounds; Regulation in the oil and gas sector; Technology and new innovations, and Financing and servicing the sector.

The East Africa Oil & Gas Summit & Exhibition will take place 18-19 March 2020 at the Intercontinental, Nairobi.

(via Oil Review Africa, Petroleum Economist, Business Daily Africa, EAOGS 2020)