British Oil exploration Company, Tullow will increase the amount of crude oil it transports by road from the oil wells in the north of Kenya to the port city of Mombasa for storage by 1 400 barrels day, in preparation for its first shipments by mid-2019.

Country Manager Martin Mbogo said the company is still on track to begin commercial production by 2020.

Close to 80 000 barrels have so far been moved by trucks to Mombasa for storage.

The East African nation discovered oil reserves in Lokichar Basin in the North of the country in 2012.

Under the Early Oil Pilot Scheme (EOPS), Tullow trucks at least 600 barrels per day to Mombasa at distance of about 1000 km. That is now expected to hit 2 000 barrels per day by May 2019, as Kenya continues in its dream to be an oil exporter.

“We aspire as a joint venture working with government to get to an investment decision by the end of this year, and about 36 months after that get into first oil which is 2022,” Mbogo said.

As part of that scheme that is seen as vital in testing the appetite for Kenya’s crude, the East African nation has started the search for buyers.

Kenya’s PS Petroleum, Andrew Kamau says they have sent brochures with a product to different companies.

“We have sent brochures out to various companies with a product. Next week, will meet with the companies that feel that they can run Kenyan crude and whoever gives us the best value, that is the company that we will sell the crude to.”

Also underway are plans to construct a pipeline, which will transport the crude from the Lokichar basin to a port in Lamu along the Indian Ocean. Kenya however says it has no plans to construct a refinery.

‘Unless you have 400 000 barrels a day, it does not make any sense from a refining economics point of view. We have got 80 000 barrels a day.”

Kenya’s recoverable crude oil reserves are estimated at 750 Million barrels.