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Petronas Starts Drilling Oil Exploration Well
The Reporter (Addis Ababa)
March 10, 2007
By Kaleyesus Bekele
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia - Petronas, the Malaysian oil and Gas company, last month started drilling the second oil exploration well in the Gambella basin, in south-western Ethiopia.
In June 2003, Petronas and the Ethiopian Ministry of Mines and Energy (MME) signed a petroleum development and production sharing agreement that enables the company to prospect for oil in the Gambella basin. Since 2004, Petronas has been collecting seismic data in the exploration area covering 16,000 sq km of land near the Ethio-Sudanese border. Based on the seismic data, last year Petronas drilled the first exploration well (wild cat well) in a locality called Gigaw.
It took three months to drill the first exploration well, which is 3500m. deep. After finalizing the drilling last May, Petronas conducted an oil test in the first well. But the exploration well turned out to be dry (no oil shown). However, the company discovered sedimentary rocks (source rocks) that generated crude oil. It has been confirmed that the source rocks had generated oil a long time ago. Senior officials of MME told The Reporter that, three weeks ago, Petronas started drilling the second exploration well, some 60 km from the first well. The company spent 16 million dollars to drill the first well.
The second well will have a depth of 3500 m. and it will take three months to finalize the drilling. The Gambella basin is an extension of the oil productive Melut basin in Southern Sudan. Petronas is engaged in oil field development projects in the Sudan. The company is developing 30 percent of the oilfields. In the Sudan, Petronas extracts oil in Chad, Cameroon, Angola, Mozambique and Yemen. The company operates in 14 countries in Africa and in 21 in Asia. Established in 1974, Petronas has 110 subsidiary companies. Headquartered in Kuala Lumpur, it is one of the top ten leading international oil companies in the world.
Special Section: Energy and Mining Sector
In addition to Gambella, Petronas took three exploration blocks in the Ogaden basin, in eastern Ethiopia. In August 2005, Petronas acquired exploration areas in Genale, Kelafo, Wel-Wel, Warder and Fer-Fer localities in the Ogaden basin. The total area of the concession is 93,000 sq. km. The company has won the international tender put up by MME for the development of the Calub and Hilala gasfields in the Ogaden basin. Officials of MME and Petronas are finalizing negotiations on the gas development project. The two parties are expected to sign an agreement for the gasfield development project. The natural gas reserve in Calub and Hilala localities, 1200 km-south east of Addis Ababa, is estimated at 113 billion c.m. Petronas has proposed to build a gas processing plant and a gas pipeline all the way from the gasfields to the Port of Djibouti. The company plans to invest 1.9 billion dollars on the project. If the project is realized, Ethiopia, would be a hydrocarbon producing country for the first time.
The gasfields were discovered in 1973 by Tenneco an American petroleum company. Ten wells in Calub and four in Hilala were drilled. Eight of the gas wells in Calub are ready for production. Currently, Petronas is collecting seismic data in the Gunale locality.
"The company plans to invest 1.9 billion dollars on the project."
"Anyway, I like oil."......python,
"Anyways,...I like Oil"......Cheffee,
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