Turkana oil works to resume as Tullow lifts contract freeze

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Turkana oil works to resume as Tullow lifts contract freeze

British firm Tullow Oil facility in Turkana. The company has lifted its declaration of force majeure on its main licences in Kenya. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

British firm Tullow Oil has lifted its declaration of force majeure on its main licences in Kenya, a move that was feared would further delay a final investment decision expected this year on the Turkana fields.

The company’s partner Africa Oil said Friday the lifting which paves way for resumption of activities at its Turkana oil sites is informed by the easing of Covid-19 restrictions.

“The lifting of Force Majeure notices has been facilitated by the improvement in Covid-19 pandemic restrictions worldwide and the resumption of local and international flights, allowing the restart of the various workstreams under the Project,” it said in a statement.

Force majeure refers to unexpected external circumstances that prevent a party to a contract from meeting their obligations.

The event must be unforeseeable and not the result of actions undertaken by the invoking party. Natural disasters, strikes, and terrorist attacks can all be force majeure events.

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Declaring force majeure may allow a party to a contract to avoid liability for non-performance.

Tullow said earlier the force majeure declaration would have provided time “for the operating environment to improve” and for the joint venture partners to hold discussions with the Kenyan government on “the best way forward for this strategic project”.

It said Friday it would continue engaging the government on the project’s future.

“The joint venture partners are continuing their dialogue, including discussions regarding how the incentives granted to the project shall be facilitated,” Africa Oil said.

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