Is Kenya ready for oil? Wonders NOCK boss

June 26, 2012
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She insists that the government should start training technical personnel and putting up the proper infrastructure especially oil refineries and road network/CFM

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jun 26 – The National Oil Corporation of Kenya (NOCK) has reiterated the need for the government to put in place proper structures for the management of oil that was recently discovered in Turkana.

NOCK Managing Director Sumayya Athmani expressed fears that with no proper management measures in place the resource may have negative effects like experienced in other oil producing countries.

She insists that the government should start training technical personnel and putting up the proper infrastructure especially oil refineries and road network.

“If you have these billions of shillings flowing into the country, what is our capacity to absorb that money? We do know examples from other countries of the world, that when they discovered oil and it was for commercial purpose, they wanted to build roads all over the country. But in the real sence, how many roads can you build in one year?” posed Athmani.

“Are we ready for this oil, are we ready to maximise the value that can be obtained out of this oil? And if not, what do we need to do and what are the things that must be put in place?”

She said there is also need to empower the Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) so that they can be in a position to benefit from the resource, once its commercialisation starts six years time.

The government confirmed officially the discovery of oil in March 2012 at the Ngamia -1 well in Turkana County in the northern part of Kenya by a contracted British firm, Tullow Oil Plc.

“Kenyans should understand that the real production and sale of this oil may take six years. However it should be clear to everyone that we are still trying and let’s not have so much hope than we should expect results from either side,”Athmani cautioned.

Meanwhile Athmani says there is also need for stakeholders in the oil Industry to invest a lot in Liquid Petroleum Gas (LPG) adding that the demand is at 200,000 metric tonnes against a supply of 90,000 metric tonnes per year.

“The demand is there but the supply is constrained because the infrastructure is very limited. This therefore results in high cost as far as LPG is concerned hence low consumption,” she said.

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