Kenya and Uganda finalise route for US$4.5 billion crude oil export pipeline

Kenya and Uganda have agreed on a proposed route for a crude oil pipeline, ending months of debates and discussions. The US$4.5 billion pipeline will link the newly found oilfields in the countries to the Kenyan coast, in order to facilitate crude oil exports by firms including the Irish Tullow Oil.

A mutual agreement

Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta and Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni, have both mutually agreed on the route, which will now help the companies to take their final investment decision for the pipeline.

According to a statement released by Kenyatta's office, "the pipeline will take the northern route from Hoima to Lokichar in Turkana County and onwards to Lamu."

Enabling joint ventures

Extending for around 1500 km, the pipeline will enable Tullow to start exporting oils from joint ventures with France's Total and China based CNOOC in Uganda. In Kenya, the firm has formed partnership with Africa Oil for the crude oil export initiatives.

The leaders have agreed to implement the pipeline as early as possible to avoid further delays in commercialisation of the petroleum resources. The oilfields in Uganda have estimated reserves of 6.5 billion bbl of crude oil in western parts of the country near the Congo border. Kenya, on the other hand, has estimated its recoverable reserves to be around 1 billion bbl.

Due for completion

Kenya's Ministry of Energy & Petroleum principal secretary Joseph Njoroge said that once agreed, the construction of the pipeline is likely to be completed by 2018 or 2019. Additionally, the African nations have also agreed on construction of a refined products pipeline from Mombasa via Eldoret to Kampala. Intended to be a reverse flow petroleum product pipeline, it will enable transportation of imported petroleum products to Uganda and also from the refinery in Uganda to Kenya.

Edited from various sources by Stephanie Roker

Published on 11/08/2015

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