March 12, 2019 / 6:28 PM / 7 months ago

Kenya's president signs petroleum law outlining revenue sharing

FILE PHOTO: Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta arrives to attend a visit and a dinner at the Orsay Museum on the eve of the commemoration ceremony for Armistice Day, 100 years after the end of the First World War, in Paris, France, November 10, 2018. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier/File Photo

NAIROBI (Reuters) - Kenya’s president signed on Tuesday a long-awaited petroleum bill into law to regulate oil exploration and production and outlining how revenues will be shared between the government, local communities and companies.

Tullow Oil and its partner Africa Oil discovered commercial reserves in the Lokichar basin in 2012. The companies are working towards a final investment decision (FID) by the end of this year.

The legislation is required for large-scale oil production but has been delayed by the tussle between layers of government and residents of Turkana, the poor northern region of Kenya where oil was found, over how revenues are shared out.

An earlier draft passed by parliament in 2016 was never signed by President Uhuru Kenyatta.

Of the revenues due to the state, the bill signed on Tuesday allocates 20 percent to local government, 5 percent to communities living where oil was found and 75 percent to central government. An earlier draft gave 10 percent to the communities.

The bill also said parliament would review the percentages within 10 years.

Reporting by George Obulutsa; Writing by Maggie Fick; Editing by Edmund Blair

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