The Government of Ethiopia, which eyes oil and gas as major income generator over the coming years, has drafted petroleum policy.
On Friday the country’s first petroleum policy draft was presented to civil society representatives and opposition political party leaders, who commented on the draft policy that will be implemented in the coming fifteen years. After including comments from different segments of the society, the Ministry expects the policy to be finalized in the coming months.
The policy involves issues such as how companies should conduct their business as well as the benefits of local communities from the petroleum industry, among others. It also deals with import substitution of petroleum, enhancing the performance of the industry giving clear direction.
“The policy will be a tool that can show us our futurity, the place and the position where we will be in the coming years with regard to our petroleum initiative,” Merga Kenea, Ethiopian Extractive Industry Transparent Initiative Head.
In Ethiopia currently the Chinese owned company Poly-GCL is engaged in test production of natural gas and crude oil in the Ogaden basin. The basin is expected to have 4.7 trillion cubic meters of natural gas reserve.
In a related development this week the Ministry of Mines and Petroleum of Ethiopia has granted mining exploration license for eight companies. The licenses are given to Africa Mining and Energy, Agodayeo Metals and Other Minerals, Altaw Resources Limited, Himra Mining, Sekota Mining PLC, Aiga Trading Industries, and Sun Pick Ethiopia to explore minerals in Afar, Amhara and Tigray regions of Ethiopia.
Ethiopia’s income from minerals exports has been increasing over the past years. Meanwhile last year’s export performance was disappointing mainly due to the political instability.