Kenya’s ethnically Somali territories may have acquired increased strategic importance with the potential routing of an oil pipeline from Southern Sudan, southeast to Lamu and the Kenyan coast. This development has come as a result of South Sudanese independence (a precedent which may affect secession claims elsewhere in the Somali context, i.e. the northern breakaway Republic of Somaliland) and the imperative of the new Juba government in South Sudan to find an oil export route that does not involve Khartoum in the north. Although it remains to be seen whether this pipeline project will come to fruition, it is clear that the current security situation in the border regions would not be conducive for progress on this front.
Also in the realm of hydrocarbon geopolitics, is the speculation that a potential ‘Azania’ (Kenya’s buffer to its buffer region) would be home to offshore oil reserves..