The Ministry of Mines and Petroleum received the first gas reserves certificate today, August 26, 2022, following the completion of a four-month study verifying the extent of Ethiopia’s oil and natural gas reserves and how to extract them.
According to Addis Standard news agency, the study document revealed the presence of seven trillion cubic feet (TCF) in the Ogaden Basin, which is located in Somali regional state.
The certificate was presented to Takele Uma, Minister of Mines and Petroleum, by the American company that conducted the study, Netherland, Sewell & Associates, Inc (NSAI), an American based petroleum property analysis and consulting firm with offices in Dallas and Houston, Texas.
Speaking at the document’s handover ceremony, the Minister stated that the presence of the new study helps to create a system of accountability, adding that work was underway to put the study into practice.
“This document serves as proof of Ethiopia’s natural gas volume and economic viability.” With this certificate, we can invite companies with international technological, financial, and investment potential. “It also strengthens the government’s bargaining power,” Takele explained.
Minister Takele went on to say that in the past, it was only known that Ethiopia had oil and natural gas reserves, but not the amount. “I believe it [the certificate] will also serve as a wake-up call to the corporations that are enslaving our wealth with misinformation.”
It should be noted that the Ministry issued a list of conditions to be met by Chinese-owned POLY-GCL Petroleum Group Holding Limited in March this year, relating to its years of operations in the Ogaden Basin. Failure to comply with the deadline will result in the “termination of the PPSAs… without further notice,” according to the Ministry.
According to the letter obtained by Addis Standard, the Ministry is “convinced that POLY-GCL failed to maintain the required financial capability and that corrective measures are required.” As a result, the Ministry imposed three deadlines on the petroleum group.
However, according to Addis Standard on their report, the Minister did not mention the names of companies in his remark today.
In December 2021, the ministry donated 50 million birr to regional president Mustafe Omer, which it claimed was collected from mining and oil companies operating in the Somali regional state. The funds will be used to construct infrastructure in the region, such as schools and health care facilities.