Since the first week of April, Kenyans have been forced to grapple with an acute fuel shortage. The matter was first reported in the North Rift region before it spread to be a countrywide problem.
It is reported that oil marketing firms had resorted to ground distribution activities after the government failed to pay an estimated Ksh 34 billion it owed to these companies. The money accrued after the state chose to subsidize the cost of fuel through the Petroleum Development Levy Fund but failed to pay the companies.
On 13th April, Kenya deported Rubis Kenya CEO Jean-Christian Bergeron over allegations of hoarding fuel and thereby leading to economic sabotage. The embattled CEO with an over 30 year experience in the energy sector had his work permit cancelled with the government alleging part of the fuel meant for the Kenyan market had been channeled to other countries.
End of Fuel Shortage?
But by the time of preparing this article, Energy and Petroleum CS Monica Juma had indicated that the government was going to release Ksh 14 Bn to pay OMCs and therefore bringing to an end the scarcity. Juma said that the biting fuel inadequacy was now coming to an end with distributors directed to operate on 24 hours basis in order to offset the shortfall.
WoK reveals the top 10 Oil Marketing Companies (OMCs) with the biggest share in the Kenyan economy alongside the percentage they command.
1). Vivo Energy Kenya Limited (21.7%)
It is among the oldest player in the market and established its presence in Kenya in 1900. Over the years, it has managed to take control of the over 260 shell-branded service stations in Kenya. The oil marketer also deals in lubricants and Afrigas LPG.
2). TotalEnergies Marketing Kenya PLC (16.7%)
It is a French owned company which has spread tentacles in more than 130 countries. In the local market, the company was incepted in 1955 with the name Ozo East Africa Limited but began its operations 4 years later. The company deals in fuel, LPG, solar lanterns and lubricants.
With over 200 service stations, Total has 2 fuel depots, a lubricant blending plant and 6 aviation depots.
3). Rubis Energy PLC – 11.3%
The company is rather a new player but has taken on other competitors through pumping in over 50 billion shillings that went into acquisition of KenolKobil and Gulf Energy company.
Rubis currently operates over 230 fuel stations countrywide and is a leading retailer of fuel, LPG and lubricants.
4). OLA Energy Kenya Limited – 6.7%
Previously known as Oilibya, the marketing firm has over 108 service stations in Kenya and its managing director is Millicent Onyonyi. OLA energy is known for its orange and blue themed petrol stations and the Mpishi cooking gas.
5). Tosha Petroleum Kenya Limited – 3.8%
The company was established in 2003 then operating as a reseller of various energy sector products. It received a greenlight to become a fully fledged OMC in 2010 and currently deals in imports and exports of oil products in East Africa. The company has more than 15 service stations countrywide.
6). Oryx Kenya Limited (3.8%)
The company established its roots in the Kenyan market in 2004, then known as Addax. Currently, Oryx is a well known OMC which is rapidly expanding in the East African region. According to its official website, it has a trading arm based in Geneva, Switzerland and a lubricant blending plant in Tanzania. The company has at least 9 service stations in Kenya.
7). Be Energy Limited (Bakri) – 3.1%
Be Energy, popularly known as Bakri was established in 2004 and deals in exports and imports of fuel products in Uganda, DRC, Burundi, South Sudan and Rwanda. It has several depots in Mombasa, Nairobi, Eldoret and Kisumu.
8). Galana Oil Kenya Limited – (2.7%)
The OMC was established in 2000 and is popularly known for its ‘Delta’ brand. Though it has been steadily expanding over the years, its service stations are mainly based in Nairobi and Kiambu counties.
9). National Oil Corporation – 2.2%
It was established in 1981 by the government of Kenya after a fuel crisis that hit the country in the ’70s and led to high inflation rates. The company is involved in oil exploration and marketing of fuel, lubricants and the cooking gas named supagas.
10). Lake Oil Limited – 1.3%
The company was established by 41 year old Tanzanian billionaire Ally Awadh who ventured into Kenya by acquisition of Hashi group in 2017. The company has a well known presence in Tanzania and is still working on outsmarting various competitors in Kenya.