Kenya: Damaged Turkana Roads Disrupt Crude Trucking

A police vehicle escorts trucks loaded with crude oil from Ngamia 8 oil fields in Turkana County on June 3, 2018.
12 December 2019

Trucking of crude oil to Mombasa has been halted due to heavy rains that have damaged roads in Turkana County.

Tullow Oil, which is running the 100 trucks to ferry crude to Mombasa for storage did not explain to what extent the stoppage would affect the Early Oil Pilot Scheme, but officials within the firm intimated that trucking had been halted for close to 10 days now.

The trucking stoppage throws into uncertainty the plan to make another crude oil shipment in March 2020.

"The roads have been impassable especially around Marich Pass where a section of the road has been completely swept off. Trucking may have to wait until the area is dry or when the road is repaired, which may take longer," the source said, seeking anonymity for fear of being reprimanded for addressing the media without authorisation.

The Ministry of Mining and Petroleum had disclosed plans to double the shipment of crude oil from Turkana in the first quarter of next year.

The country had planned to ship some 500,000 barrels of crude in March 2020, twice the volume shipped during the inaugural sale in August.

Petroleum Principal Secretary Andrew Kamau on Wednesday remained optimistic about the trucking plan, without delving into details of the bad weather blow to the oil export scheme.

"We have not received any report of a significant effect to the trucking plan to the March 2020 target. You can find out about that from Tullow but we remain positive that we will still achieve the target," Mr Kamau said.

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