Steve Umidha @steveumidha
Trucking of early oil from Turkana to Mombasa will resume next week, after suspension of the operation nearly two months ago because of protests.
Petroleum Cabinet secretary John Munyes (pictured) said yesterday that the trucking of crude oil to Changamwe for storage will recommence on August 22, bringing to an end a 45-day standoff that had bled in excess of Sh400 million incurred by partners involved in the project.
The amount lost from oil impasse included payments to trucking companies who had been contracted for the purpose of transporting crude oil from Turkana to Mombasa using their trucks, salaries for Tullow Oil staff as well as accommodation costs for staff who left Lokichar due to insecurity in the region.
The CS said that the British firm Tullow Oil, its partners Africa Oil and French oil firm Total continued to make payments to the above mentioned groups during the 45-day deadlock, which he said was now “over” while admitting that Tullow had been operating in Turkana with “little support from the ministry.”
“It has taken us 45 days since we wanted to get it right. The one in 2014 was not as bad as this. For the first time we will have a structured, resourced and legally recognised platform through which the host community, Turkana leadership, National and County governments as well as the contractor will use to dialogue and amicably solve any emerging issues,” said Munyes.
Munyes said a two-tier structure, The Turkana Grievances Management Committee and Inter-Ministerial (Escalation and Support) Committee, had been set up by the government and other parties involved in the exploration of oil in Turkana County that will seek to provide the host community and the contractor, Tullow Oil with avenues to address emerging issues and concerns that would arise from the ongoing project.