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


Description:

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.

However, as the proposed location of this project is partly in Tana River Delta, Kenya Oil and Gas Working Group, Nature Kenya and partner institutions objected to this project on a number of issues: Tana River Delta is a fragile ecosystem endowed with biodiversity and natural resources of recognised international importance, but threatened by various unsustainable development projects Any seismic survey should ensure that biodiversity is safeguarded, peoples rights are upheld and there is no increased climate change due to loss of vegetation.

EIA was weak and inadequate as it lacked adequate baseline information on biodiversity; it 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.

Conservationists urge that further work be undertaken to fill major gaps in the EIA; and a multiple land use plan should first be developed and agreed by stakeholders before any major development project in the Tana Delta is approved.

NEMA however approved the project in Jan 2011. The developer has started onshore exploration in the Lamu area and currently, but have not as yet initiated onshore exploration within the Tana Delta.

Basic Data

Name of conflict:Oil and Gas Exploration in Block L6, Lamu and Tana Delta Districts, Kenya
Country:Kenya
State or province:Coast Province
Location of conflict:Tana 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 details

Flow 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:314000
Type of populationRural
Affected Population:100,000
Start of the conflict:07/2010
Company names or state enterprises:Flow Energy Limited from Australia
Relevant government actors:The 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 Finance 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
(IUCN)
Wetlands International (WI)
The World Bank (WB) from United States of America
European Union (EU)
Environmental justice organizations (and other supporters) and their websites, if available:Kenya 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

Conflict and Mobilization

IntensityMEDIUM (street protests, visible mobilization)
Reaction stagePREVENTIVE resistance (precautionary phase)
Groups mobilizing:Indigenous groups or traditional communities
Local ejos
Pastoralists
Forms of mobilization:Objections to the EIA

Impacts of the project

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-economical ImpactsPotential: Loss of livelihood

Outcome

Project StatusUnder construction
Development of alternatives:A 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 an environmental justice success? Was environmental justice served?:No
Briefly explain: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

Related laws and legislationsĀ - Juridical texts related to the conflict

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.

LinksĀ to general newspaper articles, blogs or other websites

Standard Media
http://www.standardmedia.co.ke/?articleID=2000025272andpageNo=2

Pancon
http://www.pancon.com.au/projects/kenya/lamu-basin-l8-l9

Subsea World News
http://subseaworldnews.com/2012/07/12/far-completes-3d-data-acquisition-offshore-kenya/

Meta information

Contributor:Serah Munguti
Last update08/04/2014