Ethiopia discovers new oil deposits
ADDIS ABABA – Ethiopia has discovered new oil deposits which, if explored, would dramatically change the economy of the Horn of Africa nation which has recently been embroiled in internal strife and civil war in the northern state of Tigray.
Tekele Uma Banti, the Minister of Mines and Petroleum, confirmed the news on Wednesday, noting that exploration will begin immediately for the benefit of the Ethiopian people. Ethiopia is a landlocked country that depends solely on oil imports from the Middle East and other parts of Africa.
A study conducted in Warra IIuu in the Abay basin, he said, shows that the country has more than 2 billion barrels of crude oil. This, he noted, would help the country reduce foreign imports in addition to increasing employment opportunities for thousands of struggling people in the country.
“Oil exploration is conducted in 5 basins across Ethiopia. In an oil exploration study conducted in Warra Iluu, a part of the Abay Basin, the study showed that there are more than 2 billion barrels of crude oil,” the minister said in a tweet. after meeting several stakeholders.
“The government is working on utilizing the discovered crude oil resources, to ensure the prosperity of the nation,” added the minister, who is a strong supporter of Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, an engineer who has struggled to contain the growing rebellion in the country. which caused thousands of deaths.
If the country starts exploration, it means that Ethiopia will be one of the biggest oil-producing countries in East Africa and the whole Horn of Africa, which is highly dependent on foreign imports mainly from from the Middle East and North Africa.
Ethiopia will join the league of South Sudan which has rich oil potential but has not been fully explored due to the decades-long civil war. It was expected that South Sudan would be able to serve the entire region, which suffers from a major shortage of petroleum products.
Thousands of Ethiopians are also grappling with unemployment which has soared over the past decade, leaving people vulnerable on all fronts of the economy. Ethiopia will also seek to be Africa’s economic powerhouse if exploration proceeds in the coming months.