Tullow Oil has said it will not drill in three world heritage sites in Northern Kenya that form potential areas of operation as part of the Group’s ongoing commitment to Responsible Operations and mitigating social and environmental risk in operational planning and delivery.
Tullow Oil says the group has well laid procedures of assessing the potential impact of operations within protected areas of natural and cultural value by identifying risks to the local biodiversity, culture and ecosystems, prior to undertaking any new activity.
“The results of these assessments are carefully considered and final approval in certain protected areas is required by the Tullow Board before any operations can take place,” the company says.
To this end the company has termed three areas as ‘no go’ zones including: Turkana National Parks – Sibiloi, Central Island and South Island), Lake Bogoria (Ramsar Wetland) and South Turkana National Reserve.
In Ethiopia and Uganda where where the company has various operations ongoing no go zones include: (Ethiopia) Omo and Mago National Parks, Tama Wildlife Reserve and Chelbi Wildlife Reserve while in Uganda the company will not carry out operations in Murchison Falls National Park, Murchison Falls (Ramsar Wetland), Bugungu Wildlife Reserves and the Kabwoya Wildlife Reserve.
“Tullow has publically committed to not explore for or exploit hydrocarbon resources within designated World Heritage areas.”
Lake Turkana is the most saline of Africa’s large lakes and an outstanding laboratory for the study of plant and animal communities. The three National Parks serve as a stopover for migrant waterfowl and are major breeding grounds for the Nile crocodile, hippopotamus and a variety of venomous snakes. The Koobi Fora deposits are rich in mammalian, molluscan and other fossil remains, have contributed more to the understanding of paleo-environments than any other site on the continent.
Tullow Oil holds three blocks in Northern Kenya including Block 10BA, 10BB, 13T and 12A as well as Exploration Area 1, 1A, 2 and Production Licence 1/12 in Uganda. In Ethiopia the company holds 22,000 sq km South Omo block.