Oil and Gas Exploration in Block L6, Lamu and Tana Delta Districts, Kenya


Flow Energy Limited is planning to explore oil and gas in Block L6, Lamu and Tana Delta Districts, covering a total area of about 3142.61km2 with approximately 25% onshore. The company would be carrying out seismic surveys to prospect for commercially viable oil and gas deposits, the success of which will lead to drilling of oil and gas wells and subsequent commercial production.

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Basic Data
NameOil and Gas Exploration in Block L6, Lamu and Tana Delta Districts, Kenya
ProvinceCoast Province
SiteTana Delta and Lamu Districts
Accuracy of LocationMEDIUM regional level
Source of Conflict
Type of Conflict (1st level)Fossil Fuels and Climate Justice/Energy
Type of Conflict (2nd level)Oil and gas exploration and extraction
Wetlands and coastal zone management
Specific Commodities
Natural Gas
Biological resources
Project Details and Actors
Project DetailsFlow Energy Limited, an oil exploration company based in Melbourne, Australia plans to acquire seismic data along profiles of up to 140 km in length near the towns of Witu, Kipini and Kiongwe. The seismic lines are programmed to be on the eastern side of the Tana River and are intended to in-fill the existing seismic survey results which had initially been recorded by a BP/Shell consortium from 1966 to 1970. Success of this exercise will lead to drilling of oil and gas wells and subsequent commercial production.

Project Area (in hectares)314000
Type of PopulationRural
Potential Affected Population100,000
Start Date07/2010
Company Names or State EnterprisesFlow Energy Limited from Australia
Relevant government actorsThe National Environment Management Authority; Ministry of Energy; National Oil Corporation of Kenya; Kenya Wildlife Service; Lamu and Tana River County Councils; and 20 other Government bodies in the Tana Delta Secretariat coordinated by the Prime Minist
International and Financial InstitutionsUK Aid from United Kingdom
Jensen Foundation from United States of America
United States Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) from United States of America
Lush Pot Charity
Wetlands International (WI)
The World Bank (WB) from United States of America
European Union (EU)
Environmental justice organisations and other supportersKenya Oil and Gas Working Group (consortium of over 10 national environmental NGOs); Eastern Africa Environmental Network; Nature Kenya; East Africa Wild Life Society; BirdLife Africa Partnership; Royal Society for the Protection of Birds; Kenya Wildlife
The Conflict and the Mobilization
Intensity of Conflict (at highest level)MEDIUM (street protests, visible mobilization)
When did the mobilization beginPREVENTIVE resistance (precautionary phase)
Groups MobilizingIndigenous groups or traditional communities
Local ejos
Forms of MobilizationObjections to the EIA
Environmental ImpactsVisible: Large-scale disturbance of hydro and geological systems
Potential: Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), Loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation, Deforestation and loss of vegetation cover
Socio-economic ImpactsPotential: Loss of livelihood
Project StatusUnder construction
Development of AlternativesA multiple land use plan should first be developed and agreed by stakeholders before any major development project in the Tana Delta is approved.
Do you consider this as a success?No
Why? Explain briefly.NEMA approved the project even though the EIA was weak and lacked adequate impacts assessment and no real commitment that the impacts mitigation plan will be followed; had inadequate baseline information on biodiversity; lacked detailed maps showing the specific locations of the seismic surveys; and had inadequate assessment of the cumulative impacts of this project with other development proposals
Sources and Materials

Constitution of the Republic of Kenya, 2010; The Mining Act, Cap 306; Environmental Management and Co-ordination Act (EMCA) of 1999; Environmental Policy;Water Act, 2002; Water Policy (National Policy on Water Resources Management); The Local Government Act, Cap 265; The Fisheries Act, Cap 378.


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ContributorSerah Munguti
Last update08/04/2014