Oil and Gas

This country is set to join the oil producers club

Kenyans throng a street in a Nairobi suburb.
TONY KARUMBA | AFP | Getty Images

Kenya is set to join the ranks of oil producing nations after the country's government approved plans to extract up to 4,000 barrels per day from newly discovered reserves.

African oil specialist Tullow Oil discovered crude deposits in the country's Turkana region in 2012 and is partnering with the country as it readies for full commercial exploration.

In its half-year results released July, Tullow Oil estimated that a pilot scheme will allow 2,000 barrels of oil to be produced by the middle of 2017.

A statement released by the Kenyan government Thursday is more bullish, putting initial extraction levels somewhere between 2,000 and 4,000 barrels per day.

As part of the plan, the government is promising an upgrade to infrastructure, allowing trains and trucks to ferry the oil from the country's north west region to the main port in Mombasa.

The cabinet also approved the development of a new Kenya crude pipeline, running from the exploration fields north to Lamu where Kenya is building a second port.

This new port is described by the government as the main transportation route for crude exports in the future.

In its results, Tullow Oil stated that along with partners Africa Oil and Maersk Oil, a memorandum of understanding has been signed with the government of Kenya confirming intent to jointly build the pipeline.

Tullow described the project as "compelling".

The firm estimated that "life of field development costs", which include operating expenditure, capital expenditure and potential pipeline tariffs should be in the region of $25 to $30 per barrel.