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Tullow halts Kenya oil production over security issues

Staff Writer |
Britain’s Tullow Oil halted operations at its oilfields in northern Kenya Wednesday, citing security concerns, weeks after the country began exporting oil.

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Angry residents of Turkana County have been blocking roads with boulders and have vowed not to allow oil trucks to transport the oil to the country’s coast for export.

Speaking to local media Wednesday, Tullow Oil’s Chief Executive Paul McDade said operations had been halted due to security issues.

Locals from Turkana, Kenya’s poorest county, have been protesting the mere 5 percent of revenue from oil sales they are receiving from the government under the Petroleum (Exploration and Production) Bill. According to the presidency, the bill will see 75 percent of the revenue from the production and export of oil going to the national government and 20 percent going to the government of Turkana County.

Kenya embarked on the exploration of petroleum in Turkana in 2012. Under the Early Oil Pilot Scheme, 2,000 barrels of oil per day are set to be transported to Mombasa by road for eventual shipment.

The protests in Turkana have intensified in the past three weeks as word spread about the amount of revenue the local community has been allocated.

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