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Company suspends Garissa oil search
The Star (Nairobi)
Tuesday, July 16, 2013

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Garissa County risks missing out on an opportunity for revenue after an oil prospecting company in the region threatened to stop operations due to disagreements with local residents.

The company, Vanoil Energy of Canada, told a stakeholders forum at a Garissa hotel that it is suspending prospecting for oil in Madogashe area of the County until issues it raised with residents were ironed out.

The company cited the lack of community liaison members, splinter groups and self interest among locals, and an emphasis on cash payments instead of beneficial sustainable projects as the reasons it was halting its operations for now.

But area leaders led by Governor Nadhif Jama have moved quickly to ease the tension between the locals saying he will give the prospectors his full backing to enable it strike oil.

“It’s a new beginning. If oil is found, it will change this county for the better,” the governor said. “If oil is found I think we will see a better county that lives in peace and prosperity.”

According to Francis Karanja, one of Vanoil’s directors, the company planned to start drilling the first of its two exploratory wells at Madogashe-1 on the South Anza basin in two months time at a cost of at least Sh2.2 million.

“There is an assumption that there will be about 600 million barrels of oil,” he said. The well recently discovered by another Canadian firm Tullow Oil at Ngamia-1 in the Lokichar basin in Turkana County was said to hold some 200 million barrels.

The executive however moved to cool the high hopes amongst residents calling for sobriety until the commercially viability of the project was confirmed. “I wouldn’t advise anyone to start counting their chickens yet,” he said.

Lagdera MP Mohamed Shidiye in whose constituency the prospecting is set to take place moved to dismiss claims that the area of exploration was in neighbouring Isiolo County. “Those claims are utterly,” he said.

Garissa County risks missing out on an opportunity for revenue after an oil prospecting company in the region threatened to stop operations due to disagreements with local residents.

The company, Vanoil Energy of Canada, told a stakeholders forum at a Garissa hotel that it is suspending prospecting for oil in Madogashe area of the County until issues it raised with residents were ironed out.

The company cited the lack of community liaison members, splinter groups and self interest among locals, and an emphasis on cash payments instead of beneficial sustainable projects as the reasons it was halting its operations for now.

But area leaders led by Governor Nadhif Jama have moved quickly to ease the tension between the locals saying he will give the prospectors his full backing to enable it strike oil.

“It’s a new beginning. If oil is found, it will change this county for the better,” the governor said. “If oil is found I think we will see a better county that lives in peace and prosperity.”

According to Francis Karanja, one of Vanoil’s directors, the company planned to start drilling the first of its two exploratory wells at Madogashe-1 on the South Anza basin in two months time at a cost of at least Sh2.2 million.

“There is an assumption that there will be about 600 million barrels of oil,” he said. The well recently discovered by another Canadian firm Tullow Oil at Ngamia-1 in the Lokichar basin in Turkana County was said to hold some 200 million barrels.

The executive however moved to cool the high hopes amongst residents calling for sobriety until the commercially viability of the project was confirmed. “I wouldn’t advise anyone to start counting their chickens yet,” he said.

Lagdera MP Mohamed Shidiye in whose constituency the prospecting is set to take place moved to dismiss claims that the area of exploration was in neighbouring Isiolo County. “Those claims are utterly,” he said.

- See more at: http://www.the-star.co.ke/news/article-128087/company-suspends-garissa-oil-search#sthash.4pdkIVyU.dpuf


 





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