Kenya confident agreed East Africa oil export pipeline route will hold

Kenya is optimistic that a route agreed by Presidents Uhuru Kenyatta and his Ugandan counterpart Yoweri Museveni will carry the day despite opposition from holders of blocks in the Albertine basin.

According to commissioner of petroleum at the Ministry of Energy Martin Heya Kenya is working on fulfilling various requirements such as guarantees to security, route optimization and financing  set by the Ugandan government so as to enable the project to progress with no delay.

He adds that the push for the southern route through Tanzania follows a study by an operator namely Tota E&P which did not involve the government as the two governments had sought to gauge the feasibility of two routes both through Kenya one of which was through the Lokichar region.

“Kenya will have nothing to do with a route that does not go through its territory. We are however confident that the communiqué by both presidents had looked through all the other options and this was the best route,” says Heya.

The uncertainty follows comments by a Ugandan official Ernest Rubondo, the head of the petroleum directorate, Ministry of Energy & Mineral Development in Uganda who earlier this month said the route as announced by the two presidents was not final as Uganda was still looking into a southern route through Tanzania that dealienate the Lamu port and the LAPSSET project in general.

“We are exploring all technically and economically viable options, Tanzania is among the options. We are currently at the stage of studying and investigating the Tanzanian route,” Ms Ahlem Friga Noy, the corporate affairs manager of Total E &P Uganda is quoted by the Daily Nation newspaper.

The 1518 kilometre heated oil export pipeline as agreed will have a capacity of 300,000 barrels of oil a day with two pumping stations in Uganda and three in Kenya.

Other related infrastructure include a 127000m3 storage at Hoima (Uganda), 63,000m3  at lokichar (Uganda) and a 190,785m3 storage facility in Lamu Kenya.

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