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Ethiopia could continue East African Oil Boom

Oilfield Technology,

According to an article in the Financial Times, SouthWest Energy is aiming to spread the East African oil boom to Ethiopia.

The Addis Ababa-based company has already raised £50 million from wealthy investors, which is to be spent on the acquisition of blocks and seismic data. SouthWest also has plans to raise a further £100 million by May in order to fund a three well exploratory drilling campaign in the Horn of Africa near the border with Somaliland.

The company also holds blocks in the west of the country, which are near oil finds made by Tullow Oil. A drilling campaign in these western blocks, conducted jointly with Africa Oil, began in Spring this year.

Despite the financial challenges facing many junior explorers, Tewodros Ashenafi, SouthWest’s founder and Chief Executive made a positive statement, “QE3 is in full force and there’s a lot of liquidity out there and people trying to work out where to put money … Ethiopia is very hot. We’ve had interest move from Mozambique to Kenya, Uganda and Kenya – next is Ethiopia.”

Due to instability in the country since the overthrow of Emperor Haile Selassie in 1974, and low prices in the 1990s, little hydrocarbon exploration has taken place in Ethiopia. A competent persons report, conducted by Senergy, revealed that the 24 licences held by SouthWest could hold 1.59 billion boe, with a potential for this figure to rise to 2.9 billion boe.



Edited from various sources by David Bizley

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