Chinese Firm Eyes Gas Export from Calub through Berbera

The Ethiopian government decided last week to award the nation’s promising energy prospects down in the Ogaden Basin to a Hong Kong based company, following the departure of the Carigali Overseas Operation last year.

Petronas’ exit from its explorations bid in the Ogaden and Gambella areas, after spending 350 million Br, remains disputable whether it was prompted due to security concerns, or its management decisions. Nonetheless, the Ministry of Mines (MoM) had issued an international tender in March 2011, inviting prospective developers with a bid to win concessions over Ethiopia’s oldest identified natural gas reserves.

Bearing closer resemblance, a Chinese company, PetroTrans Company Ltd, was awarded the concession last week, beating six other bidders, including South West Energy (SWE), which has blocks in the south eastern part of Ethiopia at the exploitation stage; the National Oil Company (NOC) of Ethiopia, largely owned by Mohammed Ali Al-Amoudi (Sheikh); and Cobramar of Seychelles.

“Out of the three companies [which submitted their bids], PetroTrans has made the best proposal,” read a statement issued by the ministry on Friday, July 22, 2011, after the signing of the concession for 25 years.

Sinkinesh Ejigu, minister of MoM, signed the exploration and production sharing agreement at the 

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