Republic of Kenya

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The Republic of Kenya is bisected by the Equator and East longitude 38o. It borders the Indian Ocean to the southeast, Somalia to the East, Ethiopia to the North, South Sudan to the Northwest, Uganda to the West, and Tanzania to the south. From the coastal margin, the low plains ascend to the central highlands. The Kenyan highlands comprise successful agricultural regions with climatic conditions varying from tropical along the coast to temperate inland to arid in the north and northeastern regions. It covers an area of 582,646km2 with a population of over 40 million people and a Real Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is estimated to have grown by 7.5 per cent in 2021 compared to a contraction of 0.3 per cent in 2020. The major sectors contributing to the GDP growth are agriculture, tourism, manufacturing, transport, communication, and fishing among others.

Kenya is endowed with diverse wildlife and thus a considerable acreage of land has been devoted to wildlife conservation habitats. These habitats include the famous Maasai Mara and Tsavo National Park. All the Big Five animals of Africa are found within these habitats.


Location map of Kenya
Location map of Kenya

Regionally, The East African Rift system bisects Kenya North-South with the drainage patterns being a function of the surface relief manifestation. Generally, most rivers drain to Indian Ocean, Lake Victoria, and Lake Turkana.

Kenya has four (4) sedimentary basins namely: Lamu, Anza, Mandera and Tertiary Rift covering an area of approximate 500,000km2. Exploration started in Kenya in the 1950s. The sedimentary basins are subdivided into 63 petroleum exploration blocks out of which 20 are licensed to 10 international oil companies while one is licensed to the National Oil Corporation of Kenya (NOCK). Forty (40) blocks are open for licensing to investors for oil and gas exploration.



Current Activities


Exploration Activities

Currently, exploration activities are ongoing both in the onshore and offshore blocks, albeit in a reduced phase due to the fall in crude prices. To date, over 80,000-line km of 2D seismic data and approximately 10,000km2 of 3D seismic data has been acquired across the various blocks. A total of 94 wells have been drilled. Most of the wells drilled so far are exploratory with a few being appraisal wells, mostly in the South Lokichar Sub-Basin of the Tertiary Rift Basin where oil discoveries have been made by Tullow Oil B.V. The Field Development Plan for Block 10BB and 13T in the South Lokichar Basin is currently under review. Other areas with oil and gas discoveries include offshore Lamu Basin in Block L8 drilled by Apache Energy Ltd (gas discovery) and Block L10A drilled by BG Group (oil and gas discovery).

Petroleum Exploration Block Map
Petroleum Exploration Block Map


The Ministry of Petroleum and Mining plans to conduct bid round licensing of the open shallow offshore blocks of the Lamu Basin in the near future. In readiness for this, the Ministry signed a contract with ION Geophysical for a 3D Seismic Multi-Client data acquisition program for shallow offshore in March 2021. The company will carry out two seismic projects; one covers new 3D acquisition in the offshore Lamu Basin, the second involves the re-imaging of vintage data. ION will carry out the multi-client work with BGP on the north and south of the Basin.

Midstream Project

To support the South Lokichar development, The Government of Kenya (GOK) entered into a Joint Development Agreement (JDA) with Tullow Kenya B.V., Africa Oil and TOTAL (formerly Maersk) for the development of a crude oil export pipeline system to transport stabilised crude oil from the Lokichar Central Processing Facility (CPF) in the South Lokichar Basin to the new port of Lamu, Kenya.


Map of multiclient 3D seismic acquisition area
Map of multiclient 3D seismic acquisition area


This export pipeline system is known as the Lokichar to Lamu Crude Oil Pipeline (LLCOP) project and will follow the LAPSET corridor. The proposed 24’’ pipeline is designed for a flow rate of 130 kbopd. This equates to an annualised flow rate of 120 kbopd when allowances are made for downtime/availability in the CPF or the pipeline system. The project is at the project development stage (Pre-FID stage). Front End Engineering Design (FEED) was completed; however, it has been updated with respect to the revised development concept. ESIA was completed and approved by NEMA. Conversations on the pipeline are being carried out alongside the South Lokichar Basin FDP.

Mwananchi Gas Project: Liquified Petroleum Gas Distribution

In the downstream sector, the Government has initiated a project dubbed, ‘The Mwananchi Gas Project”.

This is an initiative by the Ministry whose objectives are: -

  1. Reduce use of biomass and kerosene as the primary source of household cooking fuels
  2. To facilitate access of LPG to low-income households.
  3. To enhance LPG penetration in the country
  4. Scale-up uptake of LPG from 10% to 70%


Lokichar-Lamu crude oil pipeline route
Lokichar-Lamu crude oil pipeline route


The Ministry has so far procured over 100,000 6kg cylinders and sufficient accessories to begin the roll-out of both models.

The project will be rolled out in two models. Model 1 will distribute 6kg LPG-filled cylinders fitted with burners and grills. In the first phase of this model, 60,000 units will be distributed to eligible beneficiaries at the subsidized cost of Sh. 1,950/unit across the 11 sub-counties of Nairobi County. In the next phase, the focus of distribution will be country wide. Model 2 will entail the distribution of 6kg cylinders fitted with a compact valve and accessorized with a 1.5 m hose pipe, 2-burner table-top cooker, and a smart meter. As with Model 1, Model 2 will be piloted in Nairobi County and thereafter be enhanced to cover the rest of the country.

The smart meter will help beneficiaries to monitor their consumption and at the same time mimic their daily fuel consumption by allowing the purchase of LPG amounts that the beneficiary can afford. The Ministry in collaboration with National Oil Corporation of Kenya in the process of rolling out Phase 1 of the project which entails distribution of cylinder, grill, and burner at subsidized price. This will take place in all the eleven (11) sub counties of Nairobi County.


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10th East African Petroleum Conference & Exhibition 2023 (EAPCE'23).
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