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Ethiopia has shown a fast-growing annual GDP and it was the fastest-growing non-oil-dependent African nation in 2007 and 2008.

Ethiopia has small reserves of oil and natural gas. As of January 2003, the country's crude oil and natural gas reserves were placed at 428,000 barrels (68,000 m3) and 880 billion cubic feet (2.5×1010 m3), respectively.

Ethiopia has no crude oil refining capacity and must import all refined petroleum products. Imports of refined petroleum products totaled 24,910 barrels per day; with consumption was an estimated 23,000 barrels per day in 2001. In 1997, due to high maintenance and operating costs, Eritrea and Ethiopia agreed to shut down their joint operations at the petroleum refinery at Assab and import refined petroleum products. With the closure of the Assab refinery in 1997, Ethiopia is totally reliant on imports to meet its petroleum requirements. Some petroleum imports are received at the port of Djibouti, and shipped via rail and tanker truck to Ethiopia. With the recent development of oil in Sudan, however, Ethiopia has begun importing oil which, under COMESA, is not subject to tariffs. Oil imports from Sudan began in January 2003 transported by tanker trucks along a new road between the two countries.

In 2001, Ethiopia signed an agreement to import petroleum products from Sudan, which began in January 2003. Although Ethiopia has few proven hydrocarbon reserves, it is estimated to have considerable potential for oil and gas exploration. In April 2001, the Ministry of Mines and Energy reported that hydrocarbon seeps had been discovered in several regions.

In June 2003, the Ethiopian government signed an oil exploration deal with Petronas for 5,800 square mile tract in Gambela, in the far western part of the country. The region is closely related the Sudan oil fields. Petronas has committed to investing in regional infrastructure, employing local staff, improving health services, and developing the skills of the ministry of Mines. Petronas is also interested in natural gas exploration in Ogaden, but no official plans have yet been made.

A $1.4 billion Ethiopian-US joint venture agreement was signed in 1999 to develop a gas field in the Ogaden Basin. The project would include a 603-km (375-mi) pipeline, a refinery, and facilities to produce synthetic fuels and petrochemical products.

Petroleum Law & Legislation

The industry is regulated by the Ministry of Mines and Energy. The Ethiopian National Committee (ENEC) was established to deal with issues related to the energy sector and to assist in policy making and setting of priorities. ENEC operates through the Ministry of Mines and Energy as a planning secretariat. Energy parastatals and the agencies established for geothermal and petroleum exploration report to the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry or to the Minister directly.

Oil & Gas Companies

Some of the oil and gas companies operating in Ethiopia are:

  • Agip (Ethiopia)
  • Ethiopia Hunt Oil Company
  • Shell Ethiopia Ltd.
  • Total Ethiopia
  • African Oil

Key Figures

  • Oil production: 0 bbl/day(2008)
  • Oil Consumption: 37,000 bbl/day(2008)
  • Oil Exports: 0 bbl/day(2007)
  • Oil Imports: 33,590 bbl/day(2007)
  • Oil Proved Reserves: 430,000 bbl(2009)
  • Natural Gas Production: 0 cu m(2008)
  • Natural Gas Consumption: 0 cu m (2008)
  • Natural Gas Exports: 0 cu m (2008)
  • Natural Gas Imports: 0 cu m (2008)
  • Natural Gas Proved reserves:24.92 billion cu m(2009)

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