The ministry of energy has stopped all licensing of oil exploration blocks in Kenya until the government puts in place the Energy Act.
According to energy principal secretary Joseph Njoroge the new law will align to constitutional alignments.
“We have opted to freeze licensing for oil prospectors until we have put a proper legal framework in place. The new legal framework is being aligned with constitutional requirements. We want to engage all stakeholders,” said the PS.
The bill which was meant to be passed in November last year was pushed forward to June with consultations expected to be held in February.
To be affected by the new directive are some eight new exploration blocks expected to be put to leasing under a competitive licensing process through bidding rounds unlike In the past where first come first serve basis.
Kenyan petroleum laws demand that exploration firms must cede 25 percent of licensed acreage over certain time frames also referred as production sharing contracts.
Following the directive two blocks 15T and 10BC were surrendered by British firm Tullow Oil while L4A, L29, L30 and L31 in Lamu were previously owned by US independent firm Anadarko have also been delineated.
Blocks L25 and L26 formermerly owned by Statoil of Norway have also been reposed and will be put into bidding.