Kenya began exporting its oil to the international market this week, a move described by President Uhuru Kenyatta as a momentous event in the African nation’s history.
On Monday, President Kenyatta traveled to the Port of Mombasa to mark the inaugural shipment of Kenya’s first crude oil export.
The president reportedly proclaimed:
This event marks a special history for us. While initial attempts were unsuccessful, Kenya’s potential for oil and gas had been established.
I’m proud to say our grand march to oil and gas export has now begun and the flagging off of this consignment represents a new dawn not just for Kenya, but also for our region; and a beginning of a new era of prosperity for all Kenyans.
According to Kenya’s Capital FM news outlet, the president flagged off 200,000 barrels of domestic oil on Monday.
“The maiden export was bought by Chemchina, a Chinese company, at the cost of [$11.6 million] for export to Malaysia,” Capital FM added.
President Kenyatta vowed to put the country’s oil proceeds to good use, saying, “We will ensure that Kenya’s natural resources are utilized in a manner that yields maximum dividends today but without compromising the interest of future generations.”
Kenyatta also pledged “equitable sharing” of the revenues per “our laws,” Kenya’s Daily Nation reported.
“We also have to reinvest the proceeds in infrastructure to improve lives of Kenyans,” the president said.
The Daily Nation noted:
The crude oil export still leaves many questions unanswered. It is not clear how the country will benefit as there is no public production sharing contract stipulating how the [$11.6 million] will be shared between the Kenyan government and the Joint Venture Partners.
The 2019 Petroleum Act provides for profit-sharing between the national government [75 per cent][, [county government [20 per cent] and the local community [five per cent], but the amount to be shared will only be known after the cumulative cost of the Early Oil Pilot Scheme (EOPS) is known and a formula agreed on how the cost will be recovered.
President Kenyatta’s comments about revenue sharing came in response to demands by several governors in the country.
“When you slaughter a goat, the owner of the goat is left with the leg,” Peter Emuria Lotethiro, the deputy governor of Turkana County, said, Reuters revealed. “Turkana want their leg.”