Tullow Oil has an advert in the newspapers today seeking suppliers to help it transport oil from Lokichar, Turkana to Mombasa. There are two requests:
- For registered truck companies in Kenya, that have new vehicles, and experience transporting hazardous material.
- The other is for a lease of 100 pressurized insulated containers of 25,000 litres each. (Presumably, these T11 standard containers can also be transported by railway).
There is a bit of regional and domestic politics here. While Uganda seems to have opted to refine its oil and ship it out via a pipeline in Tanzania, Kenya wants to show that it can deliver on that in the short-term.
Also, the Jubilee government is checking off all its pre-election promises and while the one to prioritise the construction of an oil pipeline from South Sudan and a new oil refinery at the coast may not materialize, expect by the August 2017 elections to have a barrel of Kenyan oil shipped out from Mombasa, regardless of the means of transport or the cost of production.
Once oil is trucked to the coast, the long-term picture could see a lowering of the costs and perhaps re-engagement by other countries in the region on the suitability of shipping oil through a pipeline in Kenya.