Following the enactment of a Petroleum Act of 2019 in March this year, Kenya on Monday began to benefit from a seventy-five percent (75%) crude oil exploration with its maiden shipment to trading company ChemChina UK Ltd. The Chinese Company bought the first consignment at 12 million US Dollars.
The Turkana Oil fields are estimated to hold up to 560 million barrels of oil, which full production rated at “100,000 per day by 2024”.
The East Africa economic giant is projected by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to reach Sh10.1 trillion this year. However, the oil exploration, which was expected to begin in 2022, will probably boost the economy beyond this estimation.
Kenya would have already met Nigeria, Angola, Republic of Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, South Sudan, Ghana among others as top oil producers in the continent. Most of these countries are however into arms conflict. Curse or blessing to Kenya?
With its population estimated at 52.57 million, if to successfully maintain its oil exploration goals, Kenya will have to address the question of equitable distribution of the state wealth which is a problem faced by many African oil exploring countries. Highlights from inaugural shipment have already revealed what many Kenyans are concern about: “Will there be a fair distribution of the national cake?”
In his speech at the inaugural event, Deputy Governor of Turkana County, H.E Hon. Peter Emuria Lotethiro warned rather metaphorically that the people of Turkana must have their just share of the exploration. “…when we “Turkana People” slaughter a goat for a visitor, the owner of the goat must be left with the limbs,” he remarked. The president, Uhuru Kenyatta echoed the remarks of the Governor Emuria. He reminded the Kenyans of his fight against corruption of which the oil exploration is no exception. He assured Kenyans that his mandate is to make sure every Kenyan will benefit.