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


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.

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Basic Data
Name of conflict:Oil and Gas Exploration in Block L6, Lamu and Tana Delta Districts, 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:Biological resources
Natural Gas
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.

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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
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 & Mobilization
IntensityMEDIUM (street protests, visible mobilization)
Reaction stagePREVENTIVE resistance (precautionary phase)
Groups mobilizing:Indigenous groups or traditional communities
Local ejos
Forms of mobilization:Objections to the EIA
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
Project StatusUnder construction
Proposal and 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 & Materials
Juridical relevant texts related to the conflict (laws, legislations, EIAs, etc)

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.

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Meta information
Contributor:Serah Munguti
Last update18/08/2019
Conflict ID:34
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