SouthWest Energy, the first and only Ethiopian company involved in the exploration and production of oil and gas in the country, Monday signed a production sharing agreement (PSA) with the Ethiopian government for exploration of oil and gas in the Gambella Region in the country’s South-west.
The company said in a statement obtained by PANA that the agreement covers about 17,000 square km, half the size of Belgium, and is adjacent to the Southern Sudan border, where a field has 900 million barrels of proven reserves.
This proven discovery and geology is called the Sobat High and it extends into the Gambella concession, according to the press statement.
“The Gambella PSA gives SouthWest Energy the right to conduct exploration operations on [the] block,” the statement said. “The terms of the Gambella PSA include an obligation to complete 4,000 km of FTG surveys and 500 line km of 2D seismic. These commitment activities are intended to occur during the first exploration period, which is scheduled to last four years.”
SouthWest expressed the hope that the Gambella PSA strengthens its presence in Ethiopia, which consists of 100 percent working interest and operatorship of three blocks in the Ogaden Basin, South-eastern Ethiopia.
With the Gambella concession added, SouthWest Energy has become one of the largest acreage holders in East Africa.
“This is an excellent opportunity for SouthWest Energy to expand its Ethiopian exploration and production activities,” said Tewodros Ashenafi, Chairman and CEO of SouthWest Energy. “Due to its proximity to the oil production and reserves in South Sudan and the potential for new oil and gas infrastructure in the region, Gambella is an area of increasing strategic interest for international oil and gas companies.”
SouthWest Energy was founded in 2005 and is the only Ethiopian-owned company to have obtained an energy concession in Ethiopia