When Tullow Oil (Tullow) announced the basin opening finds in Uganda and Kenya in 2009 and 2012, oil prices were soaring and both countries were jubilant over joining Africa’s oil boom.
Undaunted by the collapse in oil prices, Uganda, Kenya and their exploration partners press forward with development of their massive oil fields estimated at 6.5 billion barrels in Uganda and 600 million barrels in Kenya.
Getting the waxy crude to market was always going to be a challenge. Uganda is landlocked; its oil fields 1,350 KM from the coast. Kenya’s oil fields are 850KM from the planned export terminal. To complicate things further, the required heated pipeline, the longest in the world, will pass through environmentally-sensitive areas.
Two of the three proposed pipeline routes envisioned Uganda and Kenya jointly pursuing a project carrying crude from both nations to export terminals on Kenya’s coast. The third route by-passed Kenya, running south through Tanzania. In 2014, Toyota Tsusho won a contract for feasibility design of a joint pipeline to Lamu in Kenya.