Kenya will ship out crude from Turkana oilfields three times in a year as vessels require more than 10 times the daily output.
The country is this month expected to evacuate 2,000 barrels per day from Turkana via road to storage tanks in Mombasa.
Petroleum principal secretary Andrew Kamau said the oil will be stored at Mariakani refinery tanks for between three and four months and amass adequate quantities to fill a ship.
“Kenyan oil will be exported about three times in a year. The oil must be accumulated for months to fill a ship,” said Mr Kamau.
The small-scale crude production is expected to run until 2021 when Kenya expects to have its own pipeline. Tullow has stored more than 70,000 barrels of oil in Lokichar in preparation for the early export plan.
The oil firm has been producing 2,000 barrels of crude oil per day and building stocks ready for export.
This means it will take a shorter time to accumulate the more than 200,000 barrels of crude for the first consignment to leave Mombasa port.
Three Kenyan companies won lucrative contracts to provide trucks and oil tank-tainers for transportation of crude from Turkana fields to Mombasa port. Nairobi-based Primefuels Ltd bagged a tender to supply 100 tank-trainers, each with capacity to carry 150 barrels of crude. The firm is a subsidiary of Dubai-based Primefuels Group.
Suppliers of trucks, on which the tank-tainers will be mounted, include Multiple Haulers (EA) Ltd and Oilfield Movers Ltd. The two companies will each provide 23 trucks.
Construction of the 865-kilometre pipeline between Lokichar and Lamu was estimated last year to be completed in the second quarter of 2021 at a cost of Sh210 billion.
The line will enable Kenya to pump out about 100,000 barrels a day for export.
Turkana oil is classified as waxy and sticky, making it necessary to heat during transportation, a quality that is expected to determine the design of the pipeline. Kenya has so far struck 750 million barrels of oil, considered commercially viable, with ongoing exploration indicating the figure could cross the billion mark.