Ethiopia is kick starting crude oil production in the Ethio-Somali region starting tomorrow. It was prime minister Abiy Ahmed who disclosed about it today after he met with representative of Poly-GCL Petroleum Investment Limited, a Chinese company that has been engaging in petroleum exploration in the region for many years now.
Apparently, the company singed production sharing agreement (PSA) with the government of Ethiopia in 2014. And now company seem to be celebrating success in extracting petroleum from the region. It is not clear about the percentage of PSA agreement.
The amount of petroleum production is not known and the prime minister stated that the potential quantity of crude oil production will be known in the course of time. But the Chines company seem to believe that there is a prospect of export quantity from the project, according to Chief of Staff in the office of the prime minister, Fitsum Arega.
HE PM Dr Abiy Ahmed met today with the representatives of Poly-GCL Petroleum Investment Limited to officially kick start crude oil production test in Ogaden Region. The company has discovered that there is a prospect of commercial quantities of crude oil in the region. #Ethiopia. pic.twitter.com/CbDVp4Aopc
— Fitsum Arega (@fitsumaregaa) June 27, 2018
Abiy Ahmed sees foreign currency savings from the crude oil production as Ethiopia will no longer need to import it from elsewhere in the future. According to some sources, refined petroleum import constitutes over 10 percent of the total volume of import to the country.
Apart from crude oil production, Ethiopia is also undertaking preparation to export natural gas starting next year.
Petroleum exploration in South Eastern Ethiopia has not been easy. Soldiers were deployed in the region to provide protection for workers in the project. In 2007, Oraden Liberation from armed rebels killed about nine Chinese in the oil field in the the region.
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