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Kenya to license new oil blocks after new law in place

28 April 2014, 08:17

Nairobi - Kenya will resume issuing licenses for exploration of new oil blocks once the new petroleum laws are in place, a government official said on Sunday.

Ministry of Energy Senior Principal Superintending Geologists Hudson Andambi said that out of Kenya's 46 oil blocks, only 41 are under exploration.

"The World Bank is currently assisting Kenya to carry out a comprehensive review of the country's petroleum statutes," Andambi said on the sidelines of the Third East Africa Oil Expo.

The three-day event brought participants to review ways of enhancing hydrocarbon exploration efforts in the region.

Kenya's government issued a directive to stop exploration in the new oil blocks a few months before the 2013 general elections.

"Most oil explorers acquired their licenses through direct negotiations with the government," the ministry of energy official said.

"However, under the need regime, oil blocks will be auctioned through competitive bidding," Andambi said.

According to the ministry of energy, Kenya's new drive to expand generation capacity of electricity will eventually reduce reliance on costly thermal production.

"Over the next forty months, we are planning to add another 5, 538 Megawatts of power to the national grid," he said adding that 61 percent of the new power will be emanate from renewable energy sources.

 - Xinhua

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