The government delayed the transportation of oil from Lokichar to Mombasa as it met with Tullow Oil officials last week to discuss a strategy of resuming the early oil pilot scheme. The two-week delay has already cost the government Sh100 million.
According to the petroleum Cabinet Secretary John Munyes, further delays could reduce the proceeds from future oil sales.
The delays are being caused by disruptions from the Turkana residents who want their revenue share increased and security improved. However, these interruptions pose a threat to the fortunes the resource will bring.
“I want to challenge the Turkana people and tell them that we are actually losing money that will be deducted from us,” said Munyes.
A meeting attended by CS Munyes, Turkana County Governor Joseph Nanok, Interior CS Fred Matiang’i, and local leaders saw them agree to recommence transportation last week on Wednesday.
Tullow Oil, which has slowed down the pace of its activities and sent home some of its employees, will further delay the early oil pilot scheme.
“We want to get a return work formula that shows how to engage. We want a structured approach that will ensure next time it happens, they bring their grievances to the table. It is very expensive to shut down,” he said adding that all stakeholders will engage to formulate a solution that will address expectations and prevent further interruptions.
The residents have been expecting quick gains from the oil sales in spite of the fact that Tullow has planned its final investment decision for late 2019. Nevertheless, the government is considering setting up a sovereign fund to manage oil revenues which will be used to develop the county rather than sharing them with individuals.
“That five per cent will be determined by the leadership but it has been over-politicised. Half the team in Turkana are saying let us pay this money to people’s pockets. But I want something good that is going to help the people of Turkana for a longer time,” Munyes stated.