Reports from Kenya indicate that the nation will reap its inaugural oil proceeds by mid-2017 despite the underlying challenge of routing to the sea port.
Kenya’s Deputy Chief of Staff Nzioka Waita told local media in Nairobi last week that crude will be delivered to the port by via roads and railway as the nation buys time to way the pipeline option.
Speaking at the release of the country’s second quarter Petroleum Insight, Waita said the twists and turns which led to the loss of Uganda oil pipeline deal would not jeopardize the country’s production and market timeline.
He likened the plan to ‘walking while chewing gum’, saying that the road and rail transport must begin before a cost effective method is sought. He said it is a temporary way out of the situation as the five year pipeline plan is revised.
Accordingly, discussions on the design of the pipeline are in progress. Consultancy work to look at pipeline from Lokichar basin to the port of Lamu is ongoing.
Major roads that will facilitate the project have been redesigned and widened to accommodate heavy trucks carrying oil to access them. He said nation is yet to award the contracts for road expansion and rehabilitation.
“We have already got commitment for funding for an all-weather road from Lamu to Isiolo. This is to immediately attract investors as well as support activities going on to set up the pipeline,” he said
The road infrastructure for oil is also happening concurrently with that for opening Kenya to neighboring countries.
Asked whether or not neighboring countries will come on board, Waita said it is up to them to decide if they want to work with Kenya.
“They will make their own decision whether they want to be part of this development agenda. If they do not wish to work with us, our national interests take precedence and we do what we must to exploit our assets,” said Waita.