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World bank lends money to help build skills in oil industry

25 July 2014, 20:22

Nairobi - A unit of the World Bank has lent the country $50 million at zero interest to support the government's efforts in building capacity to manage the emerging oil and gas industry.

Oil discoveries in Kenya are part of a string of hydrocarbon finds in the east African region that are drawing in energy firms and could soon make the area a significant exporter.

Kenya, like other nations sitting on new discoveries such as Uganda and Tanzania, has out-of-date laws governing the industry and needs to develop skills to handle new contracts and other issues required to build the industry.

The loan by the World Bank's International Development Association would support the Kenya Petroleum Technical Assistance Project that aims to draw in private investment, ensure efficient production and help allocate resources, the bank said in a statement on Thursday.

The funds would also support in the drafting of key policy and planning documents, as well as enhancing the capacity of existing government institutions, it added.

Kenyan energy and petroleum minister Davis Chirchir said in June he wanted parliament to approve its revised petroleum law before October, a move that would clear a hurdle to opening up more blocks to explorers.

The law will an update a 1986 code. It will list new guidelines on natural gas exploitation not adequately covered now, allow for the creation of a sovereign wealth fund to save some revenue and specify how local communities will benefit.

- Reuters


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