Kenya’s Parliament recently debated a new law to regulate oil and gas exploration. If the Petroleum (Exploration, Development and Production) Bill 2015 (Petroleum Bill) is passed, the national government will retain 75% of the profits from commercial oil and gas produced, with the county governments hosting the deposits getting 20% and the local community 5%. The Petroleum Bill, which was prepared by a technical committee of the Ministry of Energy after reviewing the Petroleum Exploration and Production Act of 1986 that was deemed too oil-centric, also requires the National Government to create a conducive environment for exploration of crude oil and natural gas. The Petroleum Bill proposes the establishment of the Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (UPRA) and National Upstream Petroleum Advisory Committee (NUPAC). UPRA will regulate the industry while NUPAC comprising a panel from the Ministry of Energy & Petroleum and the National Treasury as well as the Kenya Revenue Authority will advise the Cabinet Secretary responsible for petroleum. UPRA will also manage a national centre for storage, analysis, interpretation and management of petroleum data and information from sedimentary basis and field operations on behalf of the Government. The Bill proposes awarding of exploration blocks through competitive tendering. The proposed law requires the Cabinet Secretary to develop a framework for reporting, transparency and accountability in the sector. This will require publication of agreements, records, annual accounts, reports of revenues and fees.
To read a copy of the proposed Bill, please click here