Seizing seismic opportunities for East Africa
Tullow Oil, a multinational oil and gas exploration company, holds explorations shares in seven blocks in the basins of Kenya and Ethiopia. The area’s infrastructure is undeveloped, but Tullow is examining a range of oil production development scenarios for the whole area in the framework of the Lake Turkana Development Plan (LTDP). RSK was tasked with undertaking a strategic environmental assessment of the LTDP to assess the potential environmental and social implications of oil exploration and production, and various alternatives to the plan’s components with a view to informing strategic, evidence-based decision making regarding the plan. Working with established partners, we aimed to
• generate an overview of the existing environmental and socio-economic conditions across the area potentially affected by the LTDP or cumulatively with other development projects
• gain an in-depth understanding of features and conditions in areas of the LTDP’s influence
• identify the locations and nature of high-value receptors and resources and local hot spots in the study area where impacts of oil exploration and production development could be difficult to avoid or mitigate
• develop and agree sustainability criteria to be applied to decision making based on International Finance Corporation/World Bank Group performance standards and national, international and Tullow standards and policies
• apply such criteria to assessing strategic alternatives, especially concerning seismic activities and the location of drilling activities, production platforms, pipelines and other project infrastructure
• highlight data collection constraints to inform data gaps or areas requiring specialist expertise for subsequent studies and ensure that such factors are considered during decision making.
RSK created a geodatabase to store data during the SEA and subsequent environmental and social impact assessments and to meet Tullow’s needs as required.