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Testing community consent: Tullow Oil project in Kenya

This case study assesses the extent of Tullow Oil’s compliance with the principle of Free, Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC) in Turkana County, Kenya and provides recommendations that contribute to the evidence base for FPIC implementation for the oil and gas industry globally. It examines the company’s engagement in selected communities and finds that, while community engagement processes have improved in important ways, it has yet to achieve FPIC.

This case study assesses the application of FPIC by Tullow Oil in Turkana County, Kenya, with reference to Oxfam’s understanding of FPIC, to IFC requirements for FPIC and to Tullow’s own Human Rights Policy. The research examines perceptions of consultation processes and agreements related to Tullow Oil’s requests in 2016 for two areas of land of four hectares each, to be used as sites for well pads new appraisal wells in Ngamia and Amosing oil fields. (Well pads are areas that have been cleared of trees and other obstacles, and built up to support a drilling rig).

The research was undertaken in February and March 2017, and focused on the affected communities of Nakukulas and Lokicheda, along with the neighbouring pastoralist settlements of Lotimaan, Lokisim Ekori and Kodekode, all of which are located southeast of Lokichar in Turkana East sub-county. The recommendations made are for the company, the IFC, civil society, communities and governments alike to engage and push for stronger FPIC implementation in their own work, and across the sector.

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