Kenyan President Hosts Ugandan Leader for Talks on Oil Pipeline

Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta hosts his Ugandan counterpart Yoweri Museveni in the capital, Nairobi, on Monday for talks on a proposed pipeline to ferry crude from oilfields being developed by Tullow Oil Plc, Total SA and Cnooc Ltd.

The Kenyan government invited representatives of the three oil companies to attend the discussions, Kenyatta’s spokesman Manoah Esipisu said in a statement e-mailed Sunday.

“They will discuss the construction of the Uganda-Kenya oil pipeline, a key plank of the Northern Corridor Infrastructure Project,” Esipisu said.

Kenya is competing with Tanzania to build the pipeline. It would either traverse the arid northern Kenya region to a proposed port at Lamu near the border with Somalia, or south past Lake Victoria to Tanga at Tanzania’s coast. Tanzanian President John Magufuli said earlier this month he’d agreed with Museveni to route the conduit via his country at a cost of about $4 billion, with funding from Total. The Kenyan option favored by Tullow may cost $5 billion, according to an estimate by Nagoya, Japan-based Toyota Tsusho Corp.

The Kenyan pipeline would link up with the Lamu Port Southern Sudan-Ethiopia Transport corridor, a proposed $26 billion project that will include a port and a railway. Kenyatta and Museveni in August agreed that the development of the project should be implemented “expeditiously” to commercialize oil deposits discovered in Uganda nine years ago.

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