Tullow Oil Plc’s Kenyan unit said it’s seeking trucking companies to transport crude from northwestern fields to the port city of Mombasa as the East African nation rushes to export its first oil by mid-2017, Bloomberg reported.
The work will involve the trucking of crude in 100 insulated containers, with a minimum fluid capacity of 25,000 liters, from a production facility near Lokichar to storage facilities run by Kenya Petroleum Refineries. Tullow has discovered a waxy crude that can harden if not heated, so it is important that trucks transporting the oil maintain a certain temperature, according to Irish Examiner.
Kenya, which has about 750m barrels of recoverable reserves, plans to construct a 865km pipeline linking the northern fields to a port being built on its Indian Ocean coastline by 2021. Currently, the government puts initial oil production capacity at about 2,000b/d, expected by June 2017. Kenya’s government has previously said the northern oil would be transported by road from Lokichar to Eldoret, a thoroughfare it’s upgrading for about $31.6m, then taken to Mombasa by rail.
However, some industry exports said that Kenya’s oil may not be economically viable. Kenya needs global oil prices to reach $40-$50 per barrel to avoid making losses as the cost of road-shipping is estimated at $30-$34 a barrel.