Ethiopia to begin extracting crude oil and natural gas: Dr. Koang Tutlam

Addis Ababa, June 27, 2018 (GMN) - Ethiopia will begin extracting crude oil on a test basis from reserves in the country’s southeast this week, state-affiliated media and the prime minister’s office and State Minister of Mines Petroleum and Natural Gas Dr. Koang Tutlam Speak to Media on Recent Oil and Gas Discoveries.

To some oil means wealth and prosperity, expensive Italian sports cars and skyscrapers everywhere. Others hone in on the ruthless quest for self-enrichment, foreign interference and territorial disputes that mar the modern history of Africa. The eastern region of Ethiopia itself has been no stranger to difficulties since oil was first discovered there by the American firm Tenneco in 1972. 

Many optimistically point to the many countries in the region that have successfully navigated these challenges. Following this, they have entered into a period of wealth and prosperity, For instance, Qatar’s amazing economic growth occurred after 1940.  The fast growth is attributed to gas and oil findings like the one announced this month in Ethiopia.

A State Minister at Ethiopia’s Mines Petroleum and Natural Gas spoke with media. This was Dr. Koang Tutlam who was quoted by an Ethiopian news agency on the 24th of March, 2018 as saying following: “In the appraisal wells the company drilled around Calub it has discovered additional gas reserve. If you remember we were talking about 4.7 Trillion Cubic Feet (TCF) of gas reserve. Now the recoverable gas amount reached 6-8 TCF. About 450 barrels would be produced on a trial basis. The amount has increased significantly.”

The Ethiopian government has a plan to turn this sector into the backbone of the economy by 2020 according, at least according to this official Ethiopian embassy website page.

The exploration of the 117,151 square-kilometer regions in the Ogaden basin is financed by the China Development Bank. This is according to a Bloomberg article from back in 2017. “China Poly Sees Ethiopia Gas Exports by 2019”. If the title holds true Ethiopia’s economy is sure to receive a significant boost very soon.

The firm is a joint venture of state-owned China Poly Group Corporation and Hong Kong-based Golden Concord Group.

The prime minister added that full-scale production of crude oil in the future would help the state alleviate unemployment and the prevailing foreign currency shortage.

Ethiopia also projects to earn up to 8 billion US dollars annually once it begins exporting natural gas with its full capacity, he said.

A pipeline to export gas to Djibouti will be launched in September and will take two years to complete. (Gambella Media Network)