Tullow Oil threatens to shut down operations in Turkana
TURKANA, KENYA: Tullow Oil has said it will shut down its operations in Turkana within the next two weeks if the impasse with the local community is not resolved. The National Government was expected to enter an agreement with the community before resumption of operations at the oil fields.
The firm has for about a month not been able to undertake any work at its Lokichar base following protests by area residents demanding for among other things increased security in the area. The protests, which saw Tullow and its contractors, evacuate employees and only leave a skeleton staff, also stalled the movement of crude oil under the Early Oil Pilot Scheme.
The firm said it is now running low on supplies and does not expect to be able to sustain operations after two weeks.
“It is vital that our return to work in Kenya has the backing and support of the government, Turkana leadership and the community. We are working hard on reaching an agreement that will make sure that our operations will not be interrupted in the future. Discussions are on-going and we are optimistic that we will be able to start crude oil trucking again soon,” said Martin Mbogo, The Tullow Kenya Managing Director.
“However, based on the current inventory estimates, essential supplies necessary to run Kapese Integrated Operation Base (IOB) will run out in the next 14 days after which we will have no option other than a complete shut-down of the camp. This will further delay resumption of crude oil trucking by about two months post the signing of the MoU, which is now under review by the Ministry of Petroleum and Mining.”
The Ministry of Petroleum had last week said it expected operations by Wednesday this week but this seems unlikely in the absence of an agreement with the community.
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