Major investors in Kenya’s budding oil industry have fallen out acrimoniously, airing their dirty linen in papers filed in court.
The companies have been contracted by the prospector — Tullow Oil.
Their dispute is likely to affect the industry, which was recently hit by revenue demands of Turkana residents that led to the temporary suspension of oil trucking to the coast.
Former National Oil Chief Executive Mwenda Nyaga has opened a no-holds barred court battle with British businessmen Philip Moore and Craig Bridgman over dealings with East African Oilfield Services (EAOS), a firm registered in the Seychelles.
Through his Oilfield Movers, Mayphil Investment and C & G Ventures, Mr Nyaga has taken on EAOS and its sister company Kenya Energy Services.
Oilfield Movers is one of the firms Tullow contracted to transport oil to Mombasa by road in the early export pilot scheme.
Mr Nyaga wants EAOS compelled to pay him $300,000 (Sh30 million) as a refund for his shares as he seeks to exit the deal with the British businessmen.
Both sides claim that their counterparts are playing dirty, and the mudslinging has landed in court filings. Court documents seen by Nation indicate that each side may have thrown a punch below their opponent’s belt.
Mr Moore and Mr Bridgman have counter-sued, and they want Mr Nyaga and Mr James Mbote compelled to pay EAOS $2.51 million (Sh251 million). In their affidavits, the Britons accuse their local counterparts of sabotaging EAOS by stealing light towers that are usually hired out for revenue. The lights are hired out to clients such as event organiser Mosound, Tullow Oil, China Road and Bridge Corporation and Baker Hughes.
But Mr Nyaga says after being accused of the theft, he and Mr Mbote followed up with TradeWinds Aviation, which owns the warehouse. TradeWinds told them that the light towers were in the warehouse on February 26, which they confirmed through a visit to the airport storage facility.
Things appeared to be running smoothly, and EAOS even agreed to be Oil and Energy Services’ cotenant at the Commodore Suites along Nairobi’s Ngong Road. The boat was first rocked when Mr Moore and Mr Bridgman opted to terminate the office sharing agreement, arguing that EAOS was paying for 80 per cent of the lease yet it only occupied 20 per cent of the space.
In January, Mr Moore and Mr Bridgman during a board meeting resolved to oust Mr Nyaga and Mr Mbote, then moved out of the shared office without informing their co-shareholders where EAOS was heading to.
Oil export deadlock deepens as key investors lock horns, head to court: Dispute likely to affect oil industry, which was recently hit by revenue demands of Turkana residents. https://t.co/atefCsJinS
— Breaking News (@News_Kenya) September 27, 2018