Ethiopia - Petronas Signs Gas Development Agreement
The Reporter (Addis Ababa)
By Kaleyesus Bekele
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia - The Malaysian oil and gas company, Petronas, and the Ethiopian Ministry of Mines and Energy (MME) last month signed a petroleum development agreement and production sharing agreement (PSA) that would enable the company to develop the natural gas reserve in the Calub and Hilala localities in the Somali Regional State.
The agreement was signed by Alemayehu Tegenu, minister of MME and Dato Mohammed Hassan Merrican, president of Petronas in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Petronas has won the international tender put up by the MME to award the Calub and Hilala gas field in the Ogaden basin a year ago. In July 2006, the MME sent an awarding letter to Petronas and since then the two parties have been negotiating on the details of the gas fields development project in Addis Ababa and Kua Lalampur. Petronas has also secured two exploration blocks (B11&15) in the Ogaden basin. The blocks are found in the vicinity of the Calub and Hilala gas fields.
Petronas plans to build a gas processing plant and to construct a gas pipeline that stretches from the gas fields to a seaport. In addition to extracting the gas reserve, the company plans to conduct seismic serveys and to drill exploration wells in the gas fields as well as in block 11 and 15.
The Calub and Hilala natural gas fields are located 1,200 km south-east of Addis Ababa. The total area of the gasfields is 285sq.km.
The gas reserve, estimated at 113 billion cu. m. (4TCF), was first discovered by an American company, Tenneco, in 1972. Later on the reserve gas was confirmed by the Soviet Petroleum Exploration Expedition (SPEE). Ten wells were drilled in Calub and four in Hilala. Non commercial oil reserve was discovered in Hilala by Tenneco. Block 11 and 15 where oil and gas shows were discovered are considered to be one of the most promising exploration areas in the Ogaden basin. In August 2005 Petronas acquired exploration areas in the Genale, Warder, Fer Fer and Wel Wel localities in the Ogaden basin. The company has also been prospecting for oil in the Gambella basin, south-west Ethiopia.
Petronas, one of the top ten leading international oil companies in the world, was established in 1974. Wholly owned by the Malaysian government, the company has 110 subsidiary companies. Petronas operates in 14 African and 21 Asian countries. The company is active in the Sudan, Chad, Cameroon, Angola and Yemen.
Ethiopia - Haile Gebrselassie wins New York City Half Marathon in 59:24 to keep unbeaten record
NEW YORK (AP): Haile Gebrselassie won the New York City Half Marathon in 59 minutes, 24 seconds Sunday, cruising away two-thirds through the race to win his eighth half marathon in eight attempts.
Gebrselassie, a two-time Olympic gold medalist for Ethiopia, pulled away from Abdi Abdirahman of the United States shortly after they emerged from Central Park along with two-time Boston Marathon champion Robert Cheruiyot of Kenya.
Hilda Kibet of Kenya won the women's race in 1:10:32, outkicking defending champion Catherine Ndereba by 1.15 seconds. Nina Rillstone of New Zealand, a surprise leader until the last 500 meters when the two Kenyans passed her, was 3.75 back in third.
Near the 13-kilometer mark, the Somalia-born Abdirahman surged ahead to leave Cheruiyot behind, and then Gebrselassie left Abdirahman behind for the final eight kilometers of the race.
Gebrselassie appeared comfortable as he ran alone down the West Side highway. One fan near the finish at Battery Park on New York Harbor waved an Ethiopian flag in honor of Gebrselassie.
New Location, Same Result for Gebrselassie (The New York Times) Watch Haile's press conference video
The Distance-Running King Isn't Resting on His Laurels (New York Times)
Haile Gebrselassie looks toward New York debut (AP)
The temperature in Central Park was 70 degrees (21 Celsius) after a week of oppressive heat and humidity in New York.
Gebrselassie, who has won three marathons in the past two years, won gold in the 10,000 meters in Atlanta in 1996 and Sydney in 2000. His time was the second-fastest half marathon run in the United States, second only to his own 58:55 in Tempe, Arizona, last year.
IMPOSSIBLE IS NOTHING
Haile in Ethiopia
Ethiopia - The Distance-Running King Isn’t Resting on His Laurels
The New York Times
Haile Gebrselassie of Ethiopia walked through Manhattan on a sweltering afternoon, a slight man in a simple khaki outfit, drawing attention only because two burly bodyguards cleared a path for him. Gebrselassie’s trademark smile, unwavering in yesterday’s heat and commotion, erupted in laughter when two passersby wondered aloud if perhaps he was the president of an African country.
If Gebrselassie had crossed town unescorted, the man universally regarded as the greatest distance runner would have turned few heads. His star will only shine come tomorrow when he re-enters the world he dominates, running in the NYC Half-Marathon. It will be the first time the 34-year-old Gebrselassie will run in New York.
The star-studded men’s field will also include the former New York Marathon champion Hendrik Ramaala and the three-time Boston Marathon champion Robert Cheruiyot.
“New York is New York,” Gebrselassie said later, laughing again, ensconced in an Ethiopian restaurant, Meskerem. “I come here and I wonder when it will become quiet here. It is never quiet.”
Luring Gebrselassie into the din from his home in Ethiopia was an eight-year quest by New York Road Runners. The group’s president, Mary Wittenberg, hopes he will someday join the field of its biggest event, the New York Marathon. This year, the Half-Marathon fit into Gebrselassie’s schedule as he prepares for the Berlin Marathon in September.
“There is Haile as an athlete and Haile as a man, and he is a superstar in both regards,” Wittenberg said. “He is the best ambassador for our sport. He can take over a race and he just fills up a room.”
Gebrselassie’s storied career includes 22 world-record performances, two Olympic gold medals in the 10,000 meters and 107 major-race victories. Recently, Gebrselassie has turned his talents to longer distances, winning three of six marathons since 2005 and winning every one of his seven half-marathons. His world record in that event was surpassed earlier this year by Samuel Wanjiru, a 20-year-old from Kenya.
But Gebrselassie has little intention of resting on his résumé or giving in to a younger generation. He surprised the track world in May with a last-minute entry into a 10,000-meter race in Hengelo, the Netherlands, where he finished fifth and became the first man over 30 to break 27 minutes. He ran it in 26:52. The first time he broke 27 minutes, he was 22.
“Everybody was surprised,” Gebrselassie said. “People say, ‘You are too old.’ But I’m not old. I feel still young.”
Gebrselassie believes he could still dominate his old track distances, except the intensity of that training led to a series of injuries.
Ethiopian running great looks toward New York debut (AP)
He was forced to withdraw from the London Marathon in April after 18 miles when he had an allergic reaction to the pollen in the air. He said had never had an allergy attack before.
“It’s not an easy thing,” Gebrselassie said. “In the marathon you are running against the distance. It’s 42K. You never know where the problem you will have. In the 10 and the 5,000, it’s just competing against either the time or the athletes. But the marathon, you compete against the distance itself.”
Gebrselassie has encountered no such problems in half-marathons, building an undefeated streak, and he is now the target of a strong international field in New York. The 13.1-mile race starts in Central Park, races through Times Square and ends in Battery Park.
“He is the greatest distance runner who ever lived,” said Peter Gilmore, the top American entrant. “I’ve never raced against him. It’s going to be cool.”
Gebrselassie, long accustomed to the awe he has inspired, refuses to stop finding challenges. He said he picked his races for the chance to do something special, to reward fans with a memorable performance.
Back home in Addis Ababa, Gebrselassie owns and runs a real estate developing business with his wife, Alem. Their four children, ages 9 to 2, know nothing of the hardscrabble beginning that launched their father’s career. He grew up on a farm, running the more than six miles to school each day.
“You need a hard time when you are training, especially long distance,” he said. “My kids, they live a luxury life. Between my house and school, it’s 3K and they use a car. My age, it was 10K and you walked to school.”
Across Ethiopia, a younger generation has taken up running because of Gebrselassie. Many runners he trains with, he said, are too shy to speak with him comfortably. But he loves to see them competing. It is a major reason he never moved from his country, despite his fame and the pressure that comes with it.
“When you ask them why they start running, and they say, ‘I start because of Haile Gebrselassie,’ for me it’s something special,” he said. “Now, you ask me what I feel. It’s the other way around. These athletes they start running because of me. Now I continue running because of them. When I see them run in the national championships and one of them breaks a record, I just feel so good. I am very proud.”
If he wishes anonymity, he needs only to come to Times Square on a summer afternoon.
Ethiopia - Ethiopian running great looks toward New York debut
By Rachel Cohen
NEW YORK – Haile Gebrselassie rubbed the back of his neck as he mimicked the perils of straining to see the tops of Manhattan skyscrapers.
There's something special about competing in cities like New York, London or Paris, said Gebrselassie, perhaps the greatest distance runner in history. Win in one of those places, and there's never a need to explain to anybody where the event took place.
But the 34-year-old Ethiopian had never raced in New York until now. Gebrselassie, a two-time Olympic gold medalist and 22-time world record-holder, headlines a strong men's field at the second NYC Half-Marathon.
About 10,000 entrants are expected Sunday for the 13.1-mile race, which begins with a loop around Central Park, continues through Times Square, then ends near Battery Park.
“To win in New York, it's a dream,” Gebrselassie said Friday at a news conference at an Ethiopian restaurant a few blocks off the race route.
Renowned for his longevity and versatility, the 1996 and 2000 Olympic 10,000-meter champion has focused on road racing and marathons since the 2004 Games. Gebrselassie is undefeated in seven career half-marathons.
This is just the fourth time Gebrselassie has raced in the United States as a professional. The travel time makes competing in this country prohibitive, he said.
But he does hope to enter the New York City Marathon – he's just not sure when. Gebrselassie watched the finish in Central Park as a VIP guest a few years ago.
New York Road Runners president Mary Wittenberg joked that Gebrselassie's recruitment set a record. It dated to an appearance he made in New York in 1998.
Gebrselassie remembers the first time he competed in the U.S. – it was the first time he'd ever seen snow. He ran in the World Cross Country Junior Championships in Boston in March 1992.
The only part of the elements he's concerned about Sunday is pollen. He's already scouted out Central Park to ensure it won't be a problem. Gebrselassie dropped out of the London Marathon in April because of breathing problems and later determined it was because of allergies.
Gebrselassie's top challengers Sunday include Abdi Abdirahman of the U.S., a two-time Olympian; Robert Cheruiyot of Kenya, the three-time Boston Marathon champion; and Hendrick Ramaala of South Africa, the 2004 NYC Marathon winner. Defending champion Catherine Ndereba leads the women's field.
The male and female winners each receives $10,000.
Gebrselassie said he has no timetable for retiring. He set two more world records in late June – in the one-hour run and 20,000 meters. He does know he won't go into coaching when that day comes.
“What I'm thinking is if I become a coach, I'd destroy the athlete,” Gebrselassie said. “I'm serious. The way I'm training, it's crazy.”
Ethiopia - Four more Ethiopian journalists sentenced; pardon anticipated
New York, August 3, 2007— Ethiopia’s High Court handed down heavy prison sentences to four journalists jailed in connection with their coverage of deadly post-election unrest in 2005, after the journalists waived their defense and pleaded guilty in anticipation of a pardon, according to local sources. All of them worked for now-defunct Amharic-language weeklies.
Editors Dawit Kebede of Hadar and Wosonseged Gebrekidan of Addis Zena were sentenced Monday to four years in prison each on charges of “inciting and conspiring to commit outrages to the constitutional order,” their former lawyer, Weneawake Ayele, told CPJ.
Monday’s ruling followed the Friday convictions of editor Goshu Moges of Lisane Hezeb and freelance columnist Tadios Tantu, jailed in February 2006 on similar charges, after accusations of “belonging to an illegal political organization,” according to Ayele. Moges, who had issued public statements critical of the government crackdown on the press and government opponents, was sentenced to 10 years and Tantu to 15 years.
“We condemn the harsh criminal penalties falsely linking the activities of four more members of Ethiopia’s beleaguered press corps to deadly violence in 2005,” said CPJ Executive Director Joel Simon. “We call on the government to drop all prosecutions of journalists in connection with their coverage of the 2005 unrest, in line with its assertion that it is not seeking revenge.”
All four journalists were expected to regain their freedom in the coming days on conditional pardon, joining four others pardoned last month, local journalists told CPJ.
At least six journalists remain in Ethiopian prisons, making the country the second leading jailer of journalists in Africa after neighboring Eritrea, according to CPJ research.
The Committee to Protect Journalists named Ethiopia the world’s worst backslider on press freedom this year.
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