Ethiopia Oil And Gas Profile
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Ethiopia News

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  • Ethiopia is currently not a producer of oil or natural gas, but as with many of its regional neighbours, it is seeing a growing level of interest from exploration companies
  • It is believed that there are reasonable reserves of hydrocarbons to be exploited, but security issues have caused the exit of Petronas, raising questions of how these resrves can be developed.


  • 2009 - Africa Oil aquired assets from Swedish company Lundin
  • 2010 - Tullow signed an agreement with Africa Oil to gain a 50% operated interest in the South Omo Block in Ethiopia.


  • The Ministry of Mines is responsible for regulating the sector


  • There are currently no producing wells in the country, but there are a number of promising areas being explored
  • It is believed by the Ethiopian Ministry of Mines and the Petronas Joint Study that the two most promising hydrocarbon areas in Ethiopia are the Gambella Basin (in the southwest bordering Sudan) and the Ogaden Basin (in the southeast).
  • The Gambella Basin is believed to be geologically analogous to south-eastern Sudan. In June 2003, Petronas invested approximately USD100 million to explore the Gambella Basin
  • The Ogaden Basin covers 350,000 sq km and is the largest proven hydrocarbon bearing sedimentary basin in Ethiopia. There are two large gas discoveries in the basin which contain estimated reserves of approximately 3Tcf (Calub and Hillala).
  • The Ogaden Basin was recently subjected to an exclusive Basin-wide joint study by Petronas with the Ethiopian Ministry of Mines. The 22-month joint study concluded in April 2005, and Petronas subsequently sought to license a majority of the 22 exploration blocks in the Ogaden Basin.

Active Companies

  • Africa Oil has three projects in Ethiopia consisting of blocks 7 & 8 in the Ogaden Basin of eastern Ethiopia, the Adigala Block close to the border with Somalia and Djibouti and the South Omo Block which lies in the Omo Rift Valley of south-western Ethiopia.
  • In 2010, Tullow signed an agreement with Africa Oil to gain a 50% operated interest in the South Omo Block in Ethiopia.
  • Afren has a net working interest of 30% in two licenses consisting of four blocks (Blocks 2 and 6, and Blocks 7 and 8) located in the Ogaden Basin of Eastern Ethiopia
  • SouthWest Energy has secured blocks 9, 9A and 13 in Ethiopia's Ogaden Basin

Crude Oils

  • There are no crude oils at present


  • There are no major pipelines, but various proposals have been made for new pipelines from South Sudan, which may cross the country


  • There are no LNG plants


  • Prior to the partition of Eritrea & Ethiopia, the 18,000 bpd Assab Refinery was operating in the Red Sea port of Assab
  • Ethiopia is studying the feasibility of building a new refinery

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