A large delegation of senior Kenyan officials has flown to Perth this week to gain invaluable knowledge from their Western Australian counterparts on how to deal with resource riches created by their rating as one of world’s most exciting new oil and gas destinations.

Kenya is right at the forefront of the dramatic growth in international interest in East Africa’s oil and gas potential, following a string of onshore and offshore oil and gas discoveries.

While the East African nation and its neighbours are welcoming the tremendous opportunity that oil and gas drilling success has brought to their countries, a number of major issues have arisen, including an urgent requirement to upgrade their legislation covering the resources sector, along with their taxation laws.

East Africa Oil & Gas Australia (EAOGA) Conference

In Perth to participate in the inaugural East Africa Oil & Gas Australia (EAOGA) Conference being staged at the Hyatt Regency on Thursday and Friday August 28 and 29, the Kenyan delegation of Senators and advisors are also holding meetings with a number of leading experts in resources law and community expectations while in Western Australia.

According to Stephen Kuria, an organiser of EAOGA 2014 Conference and Chairman of the Kenya-Australian Chamber of Commerce, the Kenyan delegation views its visit to Western Australia as a vital step in the process of updating its oil and gas and mining laws.

Western Australia has a tremendous amount of experience in oil and gas and mining and is well recognised around the world as a leading producer of LNG, along with gold and iron ore,” Mr Kuria said.

“With East Africa now considered as the newest significant region in the LNG race and Kenya’s oil and gas sector opening up at an incredible rate because of recent oil and gas discoveries, the Nation is keen to ensure that it is prepared for the many changes, economic and culturally, that being an oil and gas ‘hot spot’ brings with it,” he said.

Mining education and environmental and social issues

While in Perth the Kenyan delegation, which includes Senators Paul Wamatangi, Catherine Mukitte, and Dr Wilfred Machage, is meeting with Western Australian Government representatives from the Department of State Development, Department of Resources and Industry Development, and the Department of Mines and Petroleum, while they will also receive a special presentation on mining education and environmental and social issues at the Bentley Campus of Curtin University.

The Kenyan visitors will also attend a special dinner hosted by the Kenyan High Commissioner, HE Isaiya Kabira, which will also be attended by WA Minister for Mines and Petroleum, Bill Marmion and WA Minister for Commerce, Michael Mischin. They will also be flying to Kalgoorlie for a tour of the “Super Pit”.

The dramatic effect of the forecast oil and gas riches on Kenya will also be a major topic for discussion at EAOGA 2014.

Dr Machage, will provide a presentation on “Lapset, Transport and Infrastructure in East Africa” on the morning of the second day, while later in the day, Mwendia Nyaga, Chief Executive Oil & Energy Services and former MD of Kenya National Oil, will discuss “The East African status of the upstream oil and gas industry”, and Isaiya Kabira, the High Commissioner of Kenya in Australia, will present on “Government Policies, Regulation and Bidding Rounds –Kenya”.

Kenya has a very close relationship with Australia and many Australian resource companies have been long time explorers there, and have been successful in making some important discoveries.

“So we are really pleased with the strong support we have received for EAOGA 2014 from both the Kenyan, Western Australian and Australian governments,” Mr Kuria said.

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