Ethiopia will this week start pilot production of about 450 barrels per day of oil from the Calub and Hilala fields in the Ogaden basin operated by China’s Poly-GCL Petroleum, writes Barry Morgan.
According to the office of Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, three wells will each produce about 150 bpd.
Fitsum Arega, the head of state’s chief of staff, said in a tweet last week: “Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed met with the representatives of Poly-GCL Petroleum Investment Ltd to officially kick start crude oil production testing in Ogaden region.”
Arega wrote that Hong Kong-listed Poly GCL “has discovered there is a prospect of commercial quantities of crude oil in the region”.
In addition, pilot production of gas condensate from eight producing wells will also be trucked out for local manufacturing, but the full production of natural gas must wait until a pipeline to Djibouti for liquefied natural gas exports is completed before the end of 2020, said Ahmed.
The 2.7 trillion cubic feet of gas held in Calub and Hilal is set to be piped 700 kilometres to Djibouti before being exported as LNG to China.
First gas was set to flow last year but the new date is now 2020 with construction of the 424 billion cubic feet per annum capacity pipeline due to begin this September.