By Sheree Hanna..
Global oil and gas exploration company Tullow Oil Plc is to start drilling on the Ethiopian concession it has in South Omo Valley, Southern Regional State next January.
London-based Tullow has concession rights in 23 countries including three African counties, Ghana, Kenya and Uganda. Drilling in the two neighbouring African countries has resulted in success with 1.1 billion barrels of oil discovered in Kenya in January.
Tullow has signed an agreement with Ethiopia’s Ministry of Mines for exploration f the South Omo Block through the Canada-based Africa Oil Plc.
It has already carried out scientific surveys on the Southern Omo bloc and is in the process of finalising its seismic data of the area sub-contracted to the Chinese BGP Geo Service Plc.
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While carrying out these tests, Tullow Oil Plc told Ethiopian officials of an oil reserve which is projected be much larger than either Kenya or Uganda and are confident there will be a discovery of oil within a year.
Sinkinesh Ejegu, Mininster of Mines (MoM) said: “We cross our fingers and pray for better results.”
It will be the first drillings in the Southern Omo Valley which is located on the Great Rift Valley of East Africa and is an area of interest for tourists because of its diversity of language and culture.
The Omo River runs through the valley before it joins Lake Turkana and the federal government is building one of the largest dams in the country with a power generation capacity of 1870mw.
Last month, Tullow reported an excellent first half citing increased production, sustained high commodity prices and the profit on the Uganda farm-down for its good results. Profit before tax rose by 48 percent.
Chief executive Aidan Heavey said: “Our exploration-led growth strategy continues to yield an exceptional success ratio and Tullow has, with the discovery of oil onshore Kenya, opened up a fourth new basin within five years.”