Kenya has given Nigerian Mogul Aliko Angote seven oil blocks in the country according to reports from Nigeria’s PM News citing Kiprono Kittony, the Chairman of the Nigeria-Kenya Chamber of Commerce.
The oil blocks according to Kiprono was part of deals that were reached in the state visit by President Uhuru Kenyatta to President Goodluck Jonathan and is part of 46 newly discovered oil blocks that Nigerian businessmen were promised in an earlier visit to Kenya by the Nigerian leader.
Earlier last year Nigeria’s Minister for Petroleum Resources Diezani Alison-Madueke told the State-run News Agency of Nigeria that Kenya had given her country 46 oil blocks the bilateral oil and gas Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), which was among the seven signed during the Nairobi visit.
“It is well known now that Kenya recently discovered hydro-carbon reserves and they are very keen to move quite aggressively in terms of exploration activities. They felt that, as a sister African country, it only makes sense that we exchange agreement in co-operation to hand over knowledge, capabilities and experience learnt,” The Daily Nation reported.
The Secretary for Communications and State House Spokesman Manoah Esipisu denied this statement by the Nigerian Minister.
“If the Nigerian minister said that, it is not true. Kenya signed an MoU with Nigeria and there was nothing specific attached to it; the MoU contained no oil blocks.” Said Esipisu.
Esipisu did however indicate that the MoU would be turned into agreements in 2014 during President Uhuru Kenyatta’s visit to Nigeria.
It was however not clear which exact blocks were issued to the West African billionaire who has interests in the oil and gas sectors in Nigeria under the Dangote Grroup including 9% Investment in Block I in Joint Development Zone ( JDZ ) of Nigeria Sao-Tome along with Chevron Texaco and ExxonMobil, 10 % Investment in Block III in JDZ of Nigeria along with Anadakko as Operator and 6 % Investment in Block 315 in Nigeria along with Statoil and Petrobas as operators.
According to the Ministry of Energy Senior Principal Superintending Geologists Hudson Andambi in a recent interview with Xinhua there are only 5 blocks that are not under exploration in the country raising question on the said 7 blocks.
The government of Kenya under the new law that is yet to be discussed in parliament is also on record saying that blocks will be auctioned through competitive bidding henceforth through direct negotiations with the government as was the case under the previous regime.
The Dangote group has previously through its Group Executive Director Devakumar Edwin said it was interested in the energy sector with purchase of Nigerian oil fields as international companies plan to sell onshore assets with
“We’re seriously thinking of investing in oil blocks both for gas and for oil. We’ve started talking with some companies who are divesting from onshore,” Edwin said in January in an interview with Bloomberg.
Among oil and gas explorers that are selling onshore and shallow water field in the country include Royal Dutch Shell Plc (RDSA) and Chevron Corp. due to insecurity and oil theft in the Niger River Delta.
Angote also has a project to build an oil refinery in Nigeria.