Brazil’s Petrobras to Explore for Oil in Ethiopia


Petroleo Brasileiro SA (Petrobras), Brazil’s state oil company, plans to commence an oil exploration project in Ethiopia, according to reports.

Ethiopia’s Mines Minister Sinknesh Ejigu was quoted as saying, “We will be busy reorganizing the blocks and then setting them for companies to come and participate,” she said in an interview in London. Petrobras “also wants to be in the East Africa oil and gas exploration.”

Petrobras, the largest company in Southern Hemisphere by market capitalization, would be the biggest oil company to enter Ethiopia in the oil exploration project. Earlier this week, Houston based Marathon Oil entered Ethiopian market by acquiring 20 percent working interest in the South Omo concession in Ethiopia.

Ethiopia has suspended preparations for the new exploration license bid round until the end of the year following the death of former Prime Minister Meles Zenawi, who led Ethiopia for 21 years, according to Ketsela Tadessa, the head of Petroleum Licensing department at the ministry. The country has about 5 trillion cubic feet of gas resources but has yet to discover oil.