FILE PHOTO: Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta talks with with Chinese President Xi Jinping during the meeting at the Great Hall of People in Beijing
NAIROBI - Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta announced Thursday that the country concluded its first export deal of 200,000 barrels of crude oil for $12 million. 

 "We are now an oil exporter. Our first deal was concluded this afternoon with 200,000 barrels at a price of 12 million U.S. dollars," he said in a statement issued after chairing a cabinet meeting in Nairobi on Thursday. 

However, Kenyatta did not disclose details about the buyer. Energy officials said the exports are aimed at gauging the international markets' reception to Kenya's low-sulphur oil ahead of commercial production that is now estimated to start in the second half of 2023. 

Tullow Oil plc which has exploration and oil fields in Turkana in northwest Kenya said last week that the Early Oil Pilot Scheme (EOPS) production was increased from 600 barrels per day to 2,000 barrels per day, and 200,000 barrels of oil have been delivered to the port of Mombasa.

In 2012, Tullow Oil discovered commercial oil deposits in the east African nation that are currently estimated at 750 million barrels.

The EOPS is being undertaken by Tullow Oil, Africa Oil Corp. and Total S.A. and the Kenyan government who own the Blocks 10BB and 13T in northwest Kenya. 

XINHUA