Kenya Woos South Sudan After Oil Pipeline Deal With Uganda Collapses

Kenya is reviving its deal with South Sudan in which the latter will export oil through Lamu Port. This is aimed at increasing use of the Lokichar-Lamu crude oil pipeline. The move comes after the collapse of the Uganda deal. However, experts warn that Kenya could find itself in a difficult situation again saying Total, which killed the Uganda deal, is the main holder of the majority of oil blocks in South Sudan.

French firm Total is behind Uganda’s involvement with Tanzania in the crude oil pipeline. The firm owns oil blocks in Congo, Uganda and South Sudan, and would be interested in having all its resources together transported through the Port of Tanga. Total has stake in a 120,000km² concession in Jonglei state, South Sudan with interests in more oil blocks in the country.

The violence that has rocked oil rich South Sudan is seen as a hindrance to effective oil production as majority of oil blocks are usually closed when the turmoil is at its peak.  Kenya is nonetheless carrying on with its earlier contract with South Sudan to have the latter export 160,000 barrels of its crude oil per day through Lamu.

Kenya is bound by South Sudan through a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed in 2012 through the Lamu Port South Sudan Ethiopia Transport Corridor. The deal was to set the pace for Lamu Port to be used as an export point for South Sudan crude oil.