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Kenya joins oil exporters with first oil shipment

Kenya's President Uhuru Kenyatta is welcomed to the port of Mombasa by the sound of singing.And there is a lot to celebrate.The country's first ever export shipment of oil will leave the port today.

More than 200,000 barrels of crude have been purchased by a British-based Chinese company, according to a Kenyan government announcement.

So the President is here to mark this significant moment for his nation's oil industry.

"Kenya's grand march to oil and gas production and export has now begun," he says.

"The flagging off of this maiden consignment represents a new dawn, not just for Kenya but also for our region and the beginning of a new era of greater prosperity for all Kenyans."

The shipment is an accumulation of oil produced since Kenya began pumping in June 2018 at up to 2,000 barrels a day.

The oil was trucked from Kenya's north to the coast in the Early Oil Pilot Scheme.

A pipeline is being constructed to move the oil to Mombasa port.

And experts believe Kenya will be an attractive alternative to established oil producers due to the country's stability.

Kenya expects to start commercial oil production in 2024 with production of up to 100,000 barrels a day.

Africa Oil and partner Tullow Oil first struck oil in the South Lokichar basin in northwest Kenya in 2012, where reserves are estimated at 600 million barrels.

(Source: AP)

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