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Ethiopia: Canadian firm inks oil exploration accord amid rebel threat


February 24, 2013 (ADDIS ABABA) - Despite a warnings from a rebel group earlier this week, Canadian oil and gas company Africa Oil Corporation (AOC), said on Sunday that it has signed a petroleum exploration and production agreement with Ethiopia.

The Ogaden National Liberation Front (ONLF), which is blamed for the killing of 65 Ethiopians and nine Chinese oil workers in an attack at a Chinese-run oil venture in 2007, on Monday accused the Canadian company of conspiring with the government to exploit oil resources in the Ogaden region.

The group warned the company to refrain from oil exploration activitiesin the country’s eastern region or face consequences.

The Ethiopian government immediately dismissed the warning as a desperate propaganda ploy by the few remnant leaders of the group.

State mines minister Sinknesh Ejjig and AOC vice-president of business development, James R. Phillips, signed the agreement on Thursday few days after the rebel threat.

The fuel exploration agreement covers 42,000 and 50,000 square kilometres on the East African nation’s Rift Valley Block of South Omo and Ogaden regions respectively.

“The Company would execute its activities as per the law of the country and based on international experiences” said Ejjigu.

Noting his company’s vast experience in petroleum extraction and development activities in many African countries, Phillips said the project will not only bring economic benefits to Ethiopia but eventually contribute towards development to the entire region and the continent at large.
The ministry of mines said AOC, in collaboration with two London-based oil companies - Tullow Oil plc and New Age Ethiopian Ltd, is “undertaking encouraging activities in petroleum exploration and development”.

Since 2005, a growing number of foreign oil companies have shown interest in engaging in exploration efforts in Ethiopia despite repeated threats by the ONLF rebel group.


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  • 25 February 2013 05:30, by Panthou

    Ethiopia, there’s a need of maximum of security ogaden. In ogaden, an Ethiopian needs more higher security awareness in the somalian- Ethiopian border.

    repondre message

  • 25 February 2013 18:15, by Fetehyelem

    There is nothing wrong to explore for untapped resources but the most important issue is the aggreement should have been made between the legitimate government of the country possesing the resources and the explorers, in this case unfortunately its between the two parties, the UK government and illegitimate Tigray dominated psuedo government of Ethiopia. So the UK government should take time to

    repondre message

  • 25 February 2013 18:27, by Fetehyelem

    The gov of UK shoul;d take time to think twice before its too late any contractual aggrement with the current illegitimate Tigray government of Ethiopia will be nullified soon after we disposed the regime. So no late excuses would be acceptable by the people of Ethiopia for any intentional wrongdoing. Any sort of aggrrement with the TPLF regime like land lease, any investment against the will of

    repondre message

  • 25 February 2013 18:35, by Fetehyelem

    Any investment against the will of the people would have grave consquences on the investers. TPLF is a distructive & terrorist organization aiming to destroy Ethiopia and its people.So anything they have been doing is harmful and horrondous.Please mainly Indians,Pakistany,Chines,Arabs and others stay away from our country;we are better off with out you.Our sole enemy is the TPLF gov not poverty.

    repondre message

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