Tullow Oil Company has recently announced the start of the Commercial Exploration Stage in Kenya


Tullow Oil Company has recently announced the start of the Commercial Exploration Stage in Kenya. This stage will involve the extraction and exportation of high-quality crude oil for a minimum of 25 years. 

The multinational oil and gas exploration company has been operating in Turkana County since 2012. This new development phase is expected to see Kenya exporting a minimum of 120,000 barrels of crude oil to regional and global refineries.

The extraction of crude oil in Kenya has been a subject of controversy. The Senate is already investigating the circumstances under which two batches of crude oil were extracted and sold abroad during the initial exploration phase, which should have been for analysis and appraisal. 

Tullow Oil Kenya has submitted its Development plan to the Ministry of Energy to commence the extraction of crude oil formally, but there has been no response from the government two years later.

The Senate Energy Committee has tasked the company's senior management to explain why they sold crude oil overseas in 2019 and 2022, contrary to the contractual agreement.

The agreement indicated that the early phase of oil exploration would be for analysis and extraction. The committee is also investigating how much was earned from the sale and whether Kenyan taxpayers benefited from the deal.

The crude oil deposits were extracted from 10 oil wells out of 40 drilled in four large blocks in Turkana East and South. 


The crude oil extracted meets international standards and contains lower levels of hydrogen sulfide than the same commodity extracted in leading African oil exporters such as Nigeria.

Tullow Oil Kenya aims to use Lamu as the export zone. They are targeting markets in the Emirates, Asia, and China, with a big concentration in Turkana East and Turkana South. 

The Ministry of Lands and National Lands Commission has already mapped the passage of the 824-kilometre 20-inch carbon steel oil pipeline. 


This pipeline will transport the crude oil from Turkana to its destination in Lamu port, traversing a total of six counties, including Garrisa and Isiolo.

The extraction of high-quality crude oil will be boosted by the input of a 90-kilometre water supply pipeline from River Turkwel. Tullow Oil has confirmed that out of the ten oil wells with the commercial viability of crude oil extraction, four have already been developed. Works on the remaining six are ongoing.

The company is facing credit challenges from lenders who are keen on investing in green renewable energy as opposed to fossil remittances through oil and gas exploration. 

Despite the challenges, Tullow Oil insists it has the financial muscle to commence the half-a-trillion commercial extraction stage. This stage will see the development of the ten oil wells completed in three years. 

However, President Ruto has reiterated that Kenya is moving quickly towards obtaining renewable energy through the green revolution. 

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