Protests halt Tullow's oil production in Kenya

Kenya Protests suspend Tullow oil productionTullow has temporarily closed operations in two Kenyan blocks as a precautionary measure. (Image source: Demosh/ Flickr)Tullow Oil suspended drilling operations on two oil exploration blocks in northwest Kenya last weekend following protests by local residents demanding more jobs at the sites

The oil and gas exploration company announced it has temporarily halted operations in Block 10BB and Block 13T in Turkana East and Turkana South sub-counties as a precautionary measure and to put an end to the demonstrations while the matter is resolved.

“Tullow confirms that there have been a number of demonstrations at Tullow-operated sites in Northern Kenya regarding local concerns around employment,” a company representative explained, “The priority at the moment is to ensure the safety and security of our staff.”

According to Tullow, its 800 employees from the Turkana region make up more than half of the total 1,400 employees currently working on Tullow’s Kenyan operations.

The London-listed company has said it was working with the surrounding communities as well as local and national Government in order to resume operations at the blocks as soon as possible.

Along with partner company Africa Oil, which holds a 50 per cent, Tullow has struck oil on both blocks, having commenced drilling in Block 10BB in January 2012 and discovering more than 200m of net oil pay. The partnership is currently estimating the commercial viability of their oil finds, but in July it estimated resource volumes in the Lokichar basin at 300mn barrels of crude oil.

Tullow is already producing oil in Ghana and waiting for government approval to do the same in Uganda.



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