The Adequacy of the legal framework in guaranteeing the equitable distribution of profit oil to the local community in the oil and gas sector in Turkana, Kenya

The discovery of minerals and petroleum in a country is often a cause for celebration to its citizens. This is rightly so as it is expected that trading in these resources will result in growth of an economy and improve livelihoods for the nation at large. Kenya’s oil and gas sector is a relatively new sector, but the journey towards ensuring equity is well on course. The interests of communities in profit oil are a murky area, considering that the Constitution of Kenya, 2010 declares all minerals and mineral oils to be public and not community land ousting any individual or community ownership. The Constitution and statutes enacted thereunder guarantee local communities rights to a share of profit oil. They also cater for other related interests of the local communities such as the right to compensation with respect to upstream petroleum activities. This study employs a review of the law and relevant secondary materials to analyse the share and interests of local communities in the oil and gas sector, whether local communities have a stake in profit oil, and to what extent. The study proceeds on the understanding that the interests of local communities in the petroleum activities are realized through sharing of profits and the relevant aspects of compensation accruing to the community in the process, hence substantial reference is also made to compensation aspects. While profit sharing and compensation are distinct concepts, they constitute the local community’ interests in the oil and gas activities. Additionally, a comparative analysis with Nigeria, Papua New Guinea, Venezuela and Norway is carried outThe study identifies gaps in the Kenya’s compensation mechanisms in compulsory acquisition and argues that ultimately, communities have a stake in profit oil that needs to be identified and upheld.
A Thesis submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements of the Degree of Master of Laws, at Strathmore University
Legal framework, Equitable distribution, Oil and gas sector_Turkana, Kenya