The Kenyan government has announced its decision to release 9 new oil and gas blocks for the country’s next licensing round, which is expected to begin next month.
This new licensing round will take the format of an auction, marking a change from the country’s earlier first-come, first-served policy. As Kenya’s hydrocarbon industry has begun to flourish, the government has decided to ask more of the companies that come to drill for oil and gas, including: increased licence fees, and greater work programme requirements; essentially putting more money into the Kenyan economy.
Patrick Nyoike, Permanent Secretary for Energy summed up the situation, “Things were different a year ago than now… Kenya can demand more. … Many, many companies have shown interest in coming to Kenya … Chevron and Eni want more blocks.”
After Tullow Oil first discovered oil in Northern Kenya last year, companies rushed in to purchase the remaining 46 available licenses. A particular quirk of the Kenyan licences is that explorers must relinquish 25% of the licensed territory after two years. This acreage is taken over by the country’s Energy Ministry and demarcated for additional licences. It is through this process that these 9 new blocks have become available.
Edited from various sources by David Bizley
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