The high court in Nairobi has allowed Block 2B operator Taipan Resources to continue with drilling preparations after lawyers representing the Company’s wholly-owned Kenya-based subsidiary, Lion Petroleum Inc. sought a variation to the conservatory orders issued with respect to drilling activities.
The court which agreed to vary its conservatory orders to allow the Operator to continue preparations for drilling also permitted the County Government of Wajir to join the petition as an interested party alongside Taipan, Lion and Premier Oil plc, the Ministry of Energy & Petroleum Kenya, the Attorney General’s Office Kenya and the Department of Lands Kenya.
At the request of lawyers acting on behalf of the parties, it was deemed by the High Court that the two outstanding petitions against the parties be consolidated as one petition.
Taipan and the Block-2B joint-venture partners say they remain confident that the remaining petitions will be over-ruled at the next Court hearing and will remain on schedule to spud the Badada-1 well in early January.
The Ajuran pastoralist community living in Wajir County had received a temporary injunction obtained under a certificate of urgency after they sought protection from the court saying they would be alienated from their grazing land should oil exploration continue which might further lead to clashes due to limited land.
The community had also accused Taipan Resources of environmental damage following alleged oil spills from oil exploration activities which have already destroyed the area’s ecosystem by killing nearby vegetation.
Taipan on its part has said it has cleared just 200 meters squared from where it will base its activities including drilling storing of equipment and housing of its staff.
The petition will be heard before the High Court on December 10, 2014.
Taipan Resources has 30 percent working interest on the block while Premier Oil holds 55 percent and Tower Resources 15 percent.