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Only 10 out of 44 oil contracts signed by the government are public – Civil Society

The Kenya Civil Society Platform on Oil and Gas says at least 44 contracts have been signed for drilling in different oil blocks in Turkana but only 10 have been made public./FILE

NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 21- The Kenya Civil Society Platform on Oil and Gas wants all the oil contracts signed between government and oil exploration companies made public since the discovery of oil in Kenya.

Led by Charles Wanguhu, the platform says at least 44 contracts have been signed for drilling in different oil blocks in Turkana but only 10 have been made public.

Wanguhu says putting the contracts in the public domain will assist in scrutinizing them and help make necessary changes especially on cost related and avoid future complications.

“Lack of disclosure simply means there will be less scrutiny. If there are more people scrutinizing say Tullow Oil activities, there would be more analysis out there. One would be able to catch even issues of costs if they are sort of exaggerated. In case of production, we will be able to follow if we are getting the revenue due to us,” Wanguhu said on Tuesday.

He added that 16 contracts are yet to be signed calling on the government to wait for the passing of the Petroleum Exploration and Production Bill, 2015, which will play a key role in ensuring transparent deals.

The organisations specifically wants Energy and Petroleum Ministry to provide all copies of all contract entered into in the extractive sector and provide all production agreements entered between the government and oil companies to date including the ownership.

“We push for disclosure in the public interest and to spur public debate on whether the contracts entered into safeguard Kenya natural resources and are beneficial to long-term interests,” Wanguhu added.

The organization has also faulted the recent move by the government to allow transportation for crude oil from Lokichar to Mombasa by road saying the commodity is still in small quantities hence not economical for the country.

“At the moment the only people who will benefit from this deal are the transporters. I think we should wait and at least have 15,000 barrels per day because 2000 is quite on the lower level. Before we go into the international market, we could first test the crude oil with our local industry,” he said.

Three companies have been given the go-ahead to move the crude oil to Mombasa for export to test the demand in the international market under the Kenya Joint Venture.

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