Oil BLocks in Turkana
The discovery of oil in Ngamia 1 Turkana County was received with optimism for Kenya’s future economy. However before the dust could even settle reports of secret deals began to emerge with local dailies reporting of unlawful dealings and land scandals. In one of the reports Trade minister Moses Wetang’ula and Energy Permanent Secretary Patrick Nyoike and Kenyan born international businessman based in the UK, Mr Amyn Lakhani, were mentioned as having been involved in the sale of land in Block 10BB in Turkana.
According to the reports the three were linked to Turkana Energy Incorporation, the parent company of Turkana Development Corporation (TDC) which sold Block 10BB for $10 million (Sh840 million) in 2010. TDC later sold the 3.1 acres block of land to Canadian firm Africa Oil Corporation which, in turn, sold 50 per cent of its stake in the block to Anglo-Irish firm Tullow Oil. Tullow Oil was the firm that struck the black gold in Ngamia.
This revelation saw a spark of reactions mostly from Turkana leaders who demanded the Government make a full disclosure of the deal it entered with Tullow Oil Company. The MP’s threatened to go to court if government did not disclose the deals. So far Mr Wetangula has denied being personally involved in the sale but admitted that a law firm he formed acted in the transaction. Mr Wetangula says he has since resigned from the law firm and can therefore not be linked to the sale.
In 2010, a firm that was denied exploration license accused the Energy PS of colluding with TDC to teal” results of a chemical analysis of a substance it had discovered in Turkana, believed to be crude oil. The firm, Interstate Petroleum Company, claimed it had submitted three samples to Mr Nyoike for chemical analysis but was never given the results of the tests.
On his part the PS, Mr Nyoike in a press statement to clear his name said his ministry has acted in accordance with the law. According to him all the procedures as depicted in the Petroleum Exploration and Production Act (Cap 308 of the laws of Kenya) were followed. In the statement published in a local daily the Ps confirmed that indeed there was a court case that was filed by IPC but the company lost the case. The PS accused the Media of sensationalizing the issues.