Tullow suspends oil drilling in Turkana over jobs
Tullow Oil has announced that it has temporarily suspended all operations as a precautionary measure in Block 10BB (Ngamia 1) and Block 13T(Twiga South-1) in Northern Kenya.
The company said in a statement that the decision follows demonstrations by local people regarding concerns around employment.
The locals led by two MPs James Lomenen(Turkana South) and Nicholas Ngikol(Turkana East) stormed Tullow operations sites on Saturday demanding jobs for locals. Blocks 10BB and 13T both in the Lokichar basin were affected.
“Tullow takes its relationships with the local communities extremely seriously and the decision to suspend exploration and appraisal operations was taken to prevent further escalation of the demonstrations while discussions to resolve this issue for the long-term are ongoing,” said the company in a statement.
The company said it is working closely with the local communities, the local Government and the national Government so that the company can resume work on Blocks 10BB and 13T as soon as possible.
“The Company is fully committed to utilising as many local workers and local services as possible and currently employs over 800 people from the Turkana region out of the 1,400 people currently employed on Tullow’s Kenyan operations,” the statement said.
Turkana governor Josephat Nanok has remained mum over the attacks on the multibillion oil project but told NTV that his government supports investments in the area.
Tullow announced huge oil deposits at Twiga South-1 Block 13T and Ngamia .
The Lokichar basin has oil potential of up to 1,213 million barrels of oil that is set to change the fortunes of Kenya into an oil producing country.