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Kenya to approve Qatari deal on oil blocks, says PS

Tuesday August 13 2019

An oil drilling site at Pate on Lamu Island.

An oil drilling site at Pate on Lamu Island. Qatar Petroleum is eyeing offshore oil and gas exploration blocks in Lamu. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

BRIAN NGUGI
By BRIAN NGUGI
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Kenya will endorse the acquisition of offshore oil and gas exploration blocks by Qatar Petroleum, a State-owned company of the energy-rich Arab nation, Petroleum Principal Secretary Andrew Kamau has said.

Qatar Petroleum, mid last month, said it has signed an agreement with French multinational oil and gas company Total and its Italian peer Eni to take over three offshore exploration blocks in the Lamu Basin. It added to a growing list of global corporations seeking to exploit huge fuel deposits believed to be underneath the Indian Ocean seabed.

“Yes the approvals will be given,” Mr Kamau told the Business Daily signalling the State endorsement of the deal.

In the deal that is subject to regulatory approvals by Kenyan authorities, Qatar Petroleum said it had acquired a 25 percent stake (13.75 percent from Eni and 11.25 percent from Total) in three blocks located in the offshore Lamu basin.

The three offshore blocks (L11A, L11B and L12) are situated in what is considered to be a frontier and largely unexplored area in the Lamu basin. They have a total area of approximately 15,000 square kilometres, with water depths ranging from about 1,000 metres to 3,000 metres. Eni also owns blocks L21, L23 and L24.

“We are pleased to sign this agreement to participate in exploring these frontier offshore areas in Kenya and to further strengthen our presence in Africa,” said Qatar’s Minister of State for Energy Affairs Saad bin Sherida al-Kaabi, who is also the chief executive of Qatar Petroleum in a statement.

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