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Sudan feeds 80 percent of Ethiopia’s oil demand

By Tesfa-alem Tekle

November 29, 2009 (ADDIS ABABA) – Ethiopia is importing 80 % of its total demand for petroleum from neighboring Sudan, easing the horn of Africa country’s massive cost on oil imports, said Sudan’s giant, Nile Petroleum Company (NPC).

Ethiopia spends over 50 % of its total export earnings to meet nation’s fuel demand and Sudan has now become the major source for the fact that it is only next door. According to Ethiopia petroleum enterprise, Ethiopia saves millions of dollars every year by importing from neighboring Sudan than using Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States.

Company director Khidir Al-Badri in a statement said that NPC is assigned to prepare country’s rich ethanol source for the use of fuel. The bio-fuel development and usage strategy is expected to make the oil company a leading stalk holder in the Ethiopian oil energy market.

According to the director, the company currently has opened fuel stations in the capital Addis Ababa and in other major cities of Ethiopia. He further said that Nile Petroleum Company has established partnership with German company for production of petroleum lubricants that are complying with the international standards to meet requirements of the Ethiopian market.

Ethiopia and Sudan have a number of agreements on cultural, social economic, security education, health and political matters. Many other cooperation agreements are also signed between the two neighbors to enhance the people-to-people ties, to harmonize the two people living along the common border and also aimed at fostering trans-boundary trade beyond their official trade.

The vast country imports agricultural products and livestock from Ethiopia. It actually is one of the biggest importing countries of Ethiopian products.

Sudan is now the largest oil producer in the sub-Saharan Africa, next to Nigeria and Angola. Recent figures indicate that the country currently produces over 400,000 barrels of crude oil every day.

According to oil and gas journal, Sudan holds proven reserves of 563 million barrels in 2006.more than twice with what was proven in 2001.With oil exploration efforts still underway the Sudanese energy minister estimates country’s total oil reserves at 5 billion barrels.

Long years of civil war in Sudan are said to have limited oil exploration efforts to only central and south central of the country. The oil industry is now pushing country’s gross domestic product. 70 % of its total revenue is a return from its oil exports.

(ST)