The Ministry of Petroleum and Mining was created under the re-organization of the Government of the Republic of Kenya vide Executive Order No. 1 of June 2018. It comprised two State Departments;- the State Department for Petroleum and the State Department for Mining that have since been merged.
The Ministry was established to provide leadership in the management of the extractives sector in the Country. The mandate include development of Petroleum and Mining policies, creating favorable legal and regulatory environment for investments and building capacity for effective management of programmes and projects.
Petroleum development has a long history in Kenya. Importation of petroleum products into the country began in the early 1900s. Petroleum exploration dates back to the 1950’s. However, the first commercially-viable oil discovery was made in 2012 in the Tertiary Rift, followed by significant gas discoveries in offshore Lamu Basin.
The country has four sedimentary basins namely; Lamu Basin, Anza Basin, Mandera basin and Tertiary Rift Basin. These basins have been demarcated into 63 petroleum blocks that constitute acreage for exploration, appraisal and development of oil and gas resources.
The first records of geology and mineral resources of Kenya were accumulated towards the end of the 19th century. Commercial Mining in Kenya began in 1911 with the mining of trona, followed by gold mining between 1920 and 1950 and Copper mining between 1935 to 1966. thereafter, a wide range of minerals have been discovered in various parts of the country.
The mineral value chain involves exploration (geophysics and geochemical exploration, exploratory drilling and mineral resource evaluation); mining (mine development, extraction, processing and marketing) and decommissioning (mine closure).
Kenya has four broad geological zones of mineralization namely; Archean Nyanzian Craton area of western Kenya; Proterozoic Mozambique Belt (Basement System) which cuts through Kenya from north to south; Sedimentary rocks of the northern and eastern Kenya; and Volcanic rocks associated with Rift System.