Preparations for the early oil pilot project are set jump into a new phase in the coming days with the transportation of two trucks of crude oil that will allow the company study the oil behaves over various weather conditions along the way.
The time used is as a result that the road from Nadapal to Eldoret is yet to be tarmacked and the two trucks owned by TransEast logistics will only travel from South Lokichar to Mombasa during the day as they are not permitted to travel on night as per Tullow’s rules and guidelines.
The commencement of trials which are expected to take 30 days is a sign that Tullow Oil might be going ahead with the project despite a delayed final investment decision (FID) announcement as plans to transport 2000 barrels of oil a day via road and rail are in top gear with teams from IOCs with interest on the blocks (Tullow Oil, Maersk Oil and Gas, and Africa Oil) and government continue with plans.
“The trial is important as it helps Tullow and partners to understand how the crude oil behaves under different operating conditions while on-transit from Lokichar to Mombasa, determine design, cost and type of equipment needed for EOPS (e.g. Tank tainers & Trucks) as well as pre- testing logistics i.e. loading/offloading terminals (e.g. heating and storage requirements, pumping equipments),” Tullow Oil said in a statement.
OilNews Kenya has further learnt that ahead of the first consignment consultations have been ongoing to educate the local community on the early oil project with the likelihood of misconceptions of commencement of exports.
Tullow Oil has also denied earlier reports that the trials had started with the evacuation of the two trucks as reported in a local newspaper simply explaining that Friday 29th July was a planned date that did not proceed as scheduled.
Tullow Oil early oil pilot project will be utilizing the existing oil wells and over 70,000 barrels already in storage to produce about 2,000 barrels a day starting July 2017.
“This is a short-term experiment and does not mark the beginning of EOPS,” the statement concludes.