The sports category has moved to a new website.

7 steps oil goes through before landing at your nearest fuel station

The oil shipped from oil producers abroad goes through a series of steps before eventually hitting your pump

Kipevu Oil terminal in Mombasa
  • Oil journey from Port of Mombasa to fuel pumps involves importation, storage, transportation, and distribution
  • Kenya Pipeline Company (KPC) facilitates transportation and storage of petroleum products
  • Inland depots store oil and ensure rigorous quality assurance tests before distribution to fuel stations

The journey of oil from the port of Mombasa to fuel pumps across Kenya is a complex and well-coordinated process that ensures a steady supply of petroleum products throughout the country.

This process involves multiple stages, including importation, storage, transportation, and distribution, with the Kenya Pipeline Company (KPC) playing a pivotal role in facilitating the movement and availability of fuel. Here's a detailed look at each step:

Oil tankers from international suppliers arrive at the Port of Mombasa, which is Kenya's main seaport and the gateway for petroleum imports.

The tankers are unloaded at the Kipevu Oil Terminal, a facility specifically designed for handling petroleum products.

The oil is then transferred to storage tanks at the terminal, ready for the next stage of the journey.

Once unloaded, the oil undergoes initial quality checks to ensure it meets the required standards.

The Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS) and other regulatory bodies conduct these checks to certify that the petroleum products are safe and of the correct quality for distribution.

After the quality checks, the oil is transferred to the Kenya Pipeline Company (KPC) network.

KPC is a state corporation responsible for the transportation and storage of petroleum products. The KPC network comprises several key components:

  1. Storage facilities: KPC operates large storage depots in Mombasa and other strategic locations across Kenya. These depots act as holding points where oil is stored before being pumped to various destinations.
  2. Pipeline network: The heart of KPC’s operations is its extensive pipeline network, which spans over 1,342 kilometres. This network includes several pipelines that transport oil from Mombasa to inland depots in cities such as Nairobi, Eldoret, and Kisumu.

The oil is pumped through the pipeline network using high-pressure pumps. This method of transportation is not only efficient but also reduces the risk of accidents associated with road transport.

The pipeline system is monitored 24/7 using advanced control systems to ensure smooth and safe operations. The pipeline network is a cumulative 1,342km.

Upon arrival at the inland depots, the oil is stored in large tanks. These depots serve as distribution hubs, ensuring a steady supply of petroleum products to different parts of the country. The main inland depots include:

  • Nairobi Terminal: One of the largest and busiest terminals, supplying fuel to Nairobi and its environs.
  • Eldoret Depot: Serving the western region of Kenya and acting as a key supply point for neighbouring countries.
  • Kisumu Depot: Providing fuel to the lakeside region and facilitating exports to countries such as Uganda, Rwanda, and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Before the oil is released for distribution, it undergoes rigorous quality assurance tests at the depots.

This ensures that the fuel meets the standards set by regulatory authorities and is safe for use in vehicles and other machinery.

From the depots, the oil is transported to fuel stations across the country. This is typically done using tanker trucks.

The fuel stations are the final points of sale where consumers can purchase petroleum products for their vehicles and other uses.

From this point, neighbouring countries such as Rwanda, DRC, Uganda and Burundi also get their oil dispatched.

KPC plays a critical role in ensuring the efficient and safe transportation of petroleum products from the port to various parts of the country. Here are some key aspects of KPC’s role:

  1. Infrastructure development: KPC continuously invests in expanding and upgrading its pipeline network and storage facilities to meet the growing demand for petroleum products.
  2. Operational efficiency: By using pipelines for transportation, KPC reduces the reliance on road transport, which helps in minimising traffic congestion, road accidents, and environmental pollution.
  3. Cost reduction: Pipeline transportation is more cost-effective compared to road transport. This helps in reducing the overall cost of petroleum products, benefiting consumers.
  4. Quality control: KPC ensures that all petroleum products meet stringent quality standards through regular testing and monitoring.
  5. Regional supply: KPC’s infrastructure not only serves Kenya but also facilitates exporting petroleum products to neighbouring countries.

JOIN OUR PULSE COMMUNITY!

Eyewitness? Submit your stories now via social or:

Email: news@pulselive.co.ke

Recommended articles

NMG appoints interim CEO as Stephen Gitagama retires after 6 years

NMG appoints interim CEO as Stephen Gitagama retires after 6 years

Seasoned Kenyan innovator, Genz, pioneers world's first real-money game

Seasoned Kenyan innovator, Genz, pioneers world's first real-money game

How data privacy laws are changing banking services in Africa

How data privacy laws are changing banking services in Africa

How Moody's downgrade of Kenya's currency ceiling will affect citizens & businesses

How Moody's downgrade of Kenya's currency ceiling will affect citizens & businesses

Measures business owners can adopt to prevent looting during social unrests

Measures business owners can adopt to prevent looting during social unrests

Moving to a new house? How to tell if the prepaid token meter has been updated

Moving to a new house? How to tell if the prepaid token meter has been updated

Key achievements of late KRA boss Michael Waweru during Kibaki era

Key achievements of late KRA boss Michael Waweru during Kibaki era

Key tips for an amazing X Spaces experience ahead of Ruto's engagement with Kenyans

Key tips for an amazing X Spaces experience ahead of Ruto's engagement with Kenyans

Gov't Sh20billion bond misses target by 97%, signaling investor jitters

Gov't Sh20billion bond misses target by 97%, signaling investor jitters