NAIROBI, Aug 8 (Reuters) - Tullow Oil and the Kenyan government have agreed to resume work at Tullow’s oilfields where work to truck crude oil had stopped for more than a month after protests by the community, a senior petroleum ministry official said.
Protesters demanding more security Turkana in the northwest of the country began blocking trucks carrying oil from Tullow’s fields in July.
The trucking scheme aims to transport about 2,000 barrels per day (bpd) of crude from northern oilfields to the coast to test oil flow rates and other technical issues before the start of full production and exports via a pipeline to be built by 2022.
The pilot trucking scheme was launched in June.
“It was agreed that the operations of the ongoing oil development in Turkana County commence forthwith without undue delay,” John Mosonik, chief administrative secretary at the Petroleum and Mining Ministry, said in a statement late on Tuesday.
“The Government has further resolved to establish a two-tiered system framework that will provide communities living in Turkana county and Tullow Oil with avenues for addressing any emerging issues and concerns.”
In late July, Tullow Oil said it had stopped work at its oilfields and stopped the trucking operations after protests by the local community disrupted a transport scheme, its chief executive said on Wednesday.
Kenyan media said the protests were to demand the deployment of more security forces in the area, which has long been plagued by banditry and cattle rustling.
Turkana, where the oil blocks are located, also lies near South Sudan, a nation torn by years of conflict.
Tullow is targeting production in Kenya of at least 100,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day after first oil in 2021/22.
The company is considering reducing its stake in the project to around 30 percent from 50 percent before the final investment decision.
The other partners in the project are Total and Africa Oil. (Reporting by George Obulutsa; editing by Duncan Miriri and Jason Neely)