President Uhuru Kenyatta on Sunday flagged off the first consignment of crude oil destined for export from Kenya, which will lead to oil becoming a major contributor to the nation’s economy.
The President flagged off trucks loaded with crude oil from Ngamia 8, in the Turkana oil fields as part of the Early Oil Pilot Scheme.
“This flag-off event and the anticipated implementation of the Early Oil Pilot (EOP) Scheme marks the beginning of a long and fruitful journey,” said President Kenyatta when he spoke after flagging off the crude oil laden trucks.
The President, who was accompanied by Deputy President William Ruto, said the production of petroleum products will strengthen the existing economic and commercial partnerships and enhance the opportunities for growth and investments within the country.
“My Government will therefore focus on the development of our oil and gas sectors for the betterment of the economy and people,” said the President.
The President said the initial petroleum exports will complement the country’s existing development projects under the BIG 4 agenda. It will create local employment and business opportunities including in the hospitality and security sectors.
“With the discovery of oil and gas in Uganda and Tanzania and the ongoing explorations in Ethiopia and DRC, Kenya finds itself in the company of other resourceful African nations,” said President Kenyatta.
Kenya embarked on the exploration of petroleum in Turkana County in 2012. Under the Early Oil Pilot Scheme 2,000 barrels of oil per day will be transported to Mombasa by road for eventual shipment.
Petroleum and Energy Cabinet Secretary John Munyes who accompanied the president said it was a ‘momentous time for Kenya’ as it exports the first oil from East Africa.
Turkana Governor Josphat Nanok and local MPs were pleased with the success of of the project and export of oil.
They said the region, which has one the harshest climates in Kenya, now has a very bright future.