For more than two weeks, Paul McDade, Tullow Oil's General Manager, has been saying over and over again that there needs to be more security at the Lokichar site. From this oil site in the north-west of the country, trucks from the British company haul 2,000 barrels of oil a day to facilities at the port of Mombassa pending the construction of a pipeline by 2021.  Read also: Kenya inaugurates 450 km pipeline that should boost oil exports
But for more than 10 days, the site had been invested by local people, victims of cattle theft and acts of banditry . By this large-scale action, Turkana farmers and farmers intended to force the government to beef up the security apparatus to reduce racketeering. Their protests slowed the steady flow of barrels.
As a result, the number of barrels transported dropped to 600 in two weeks. A shortfall that the Ministry of Oil has set at $ 4 million in two weeks of protests. But this bad news did not come alone. After several warnings, Tullow Oil, which operates the site, has decided to stop production pending the securing of the site and the region.
$ 2 million loss each week
This is the area of the black gold production in Kenya taking a serious blow. The East African country entered the circle of oil-producing countries last June. With his contract, Tullow Oil -associated with Total and Africa Oil- planned to produce 100,000 barrels of oil a day through five state-granted operating licenses.
For now with this stunt it is not less than 2 million dollars that this sudden interruption of activities causes the State to lose every week. All is not lost though. Tullow CEO said production will resume when authorities demonstrate their ability to secure the site.
"We are expecting to work there, put the fields back into operation and continue to truck in the near future, but it is important to take the time to resume so that we can return to a more secure environment warns Paul Mc Dade.