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Monday, April 4, 2016

Kenyan president still seeking to snatch Uganda oil pipeline project?

Kenyan president Uhuru Kenyatta flew to France yesterday for a state visit “that could also give Kenya an opportunity to bring up the issue of the oil pipeline from Uganda,” Kenyan media reported yesterday.
According to the reports, Kenyatta and his French hosts are scheduled to discuss counter-terrorism and radicalisation issues, amongst other development and cooperation-related matters.
However, considering the fact that Uganda had earlier indicated interest in passing the pipeline through Kenya before its recent U-turn by choosing a Tanzanian route, Kenyatta and his delegation are expected to engage in a lobbying mission in a bid to keep the project.
French oil company Total is amongst three firms involved in the project. Others are Britain’s Tullow Oil and China’s CNOOC. The three players have not mutually agreed on the route, leaving leeway for lobbying both in East Africa and abroad. 
The lucrative project has seen two East African Community member countries—Tanzania and Kenya—battle it out in recent weeks to win over Ugandan authorities.
Tanzania is selling the operational Tanga port as the best route to pump Ugandan crude oil which is expected to flow to international markets in 2018 while Kenya is campaigning for its yet-to-be-built Lamu port.
The Tanga route remains the most cost effective, according to Total E & P Uganda general manager Adewate Fayeni.
Fayeni said last week that as far as the company is concerned all the options have been evaluated carefully and the least cost remains the Tanga route.


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