Tullow mulls halting Kenya operations over protests

Tullow mulls halting Kenya operations over protests

Britain’s Tullow Oil said on Tuesday that it may be forced to shut down operations at its northern Kenyan oilfields after the local community stopped its oil trucking activities for weeks due to protests over insecurity in the area.

The protests, which began on June 27, interrupted a trucking scheme that aims to transport about 2,000 barrels per day (bpd) of crude from northern oil fields to the coast.

The oil is being used to test flow rates and other technical issues before the start of full production and exports via a pipeline to be built by 2022.

The pilot truck scheme was launched in June.

“Essential supplies necessary to run Kapese Integrated Operation Base (IOB) will run out in the next 14 days after which we will have no option other than a complete shutdown of the camp,” Tullow country manager Martin Mbogo said in a statement.

The company said earlier this month it had already cut staff at the site due to the unrest in the area which had interrupted the operation.

Officials at the ministry of petroleum and mining did not comment immediately when asked about Tullow’s statement.

The protesters are demanding the deployment of more security forces in the area, Kenyan media has said.

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