Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta is set to flag off the country’s first-ever oil export from the Mombasa port. Kenya will soon enter the list of oil-exporting countries as UK-based ChemChina bought 200,000 barrels of crude oil from Kenya for $12 million. Kenya’s oil exports are expected to fetch around $84 million in the next two years.

The consignment was sold through a bidding process in which ChemChina had outbid seven other companies from Europe and Asia. While the government set the price at $43 per barrel, it fetched around $60 per barrel.

“So, I think we have started the journey and it is up to us to ensure that those resources are put to the best use to make our country both prosperous and to ensure we eliminate poverty,” President Uhuru Kenyatta told the media.

Currently, London-based multinational oil and gas exploration company Tullow Oil has exploration rights for oil in Kenya. According to the company, the oilfields in Turkana, Kenya hold around 560 million barrels of oil.

President Uhuru Kenyatta believes Kenya’s oil export will contribute heavily to the country’s economic development.

Last year, President Uhuru Kenyatta launched the Early Oil Pilot Scheme (EOPS) for the exploration and development of its oilfields in Turkana. The scheme is also an important step towards the South Lokichar Full Field Development (FFD) project.

Both the Kenyan Government and Tullow Oil have emphasized the fact that the Early Oil Pilot Scheme is not a commercial project. Rather, its purpose is to identify the problems and difficulties that might occur when the project reaches its commercial phase.

To reach the commercial phase, it would take approximately four years and Kenya will start making profits from its oilfields only from 2024.