Tullow Oil May Halt Kenyan Oilfield Operations Due To Protest

Britain’s Tullow Oil said on July 17 that it might be forced to shut down operations at its northern Kenyan oil fields if it cannot reach a deal to end protests by the local community that have disrupted activities to truck oil from the area.

The protests, which began on June 27, interrupted a trucking scheme that aims to transport about 2,000 barrels per day (bbl/d) of crude from northern oil fields to the coast. The pilot scheme was launched in June.

The oil is being used to test flow rates and other technical issues before the start of full production and before Kenya starts oil exports via a pipeline to the coast. The pipeline is due to be constructed by 2022.

The production area in the Turkana region has long been plagued by banditry and cattle rustling. Turkana also lies near South Sudan, a nation torn by years of conflict.