Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Malaysian State Firm to Explore for Oil in Western Ethiopia

RedNova News -- Text of report in English by Ethiopian news agency ENA website

Prime Minister Meles Zenawi said his government would provide the necessary assistance to the Malaysian corporation of Petronas in its petroleum exploration and development activities in Ethiopia.

The prime minister made the remark during an audience at his office with president and chief executive of Petronas Corporation, Tan Sri Dato Sri Mohammad Hassen Marican on Monday [25 July].

According to Minister of Mines Ambassador Mohamoud Dirir, who attended the discussions, Petronas had signed an agreement to engage in petroleum exploration and development in Ethiopia in 2003. A joint study conducted by the ministry and the corporation over the past two years has led the latter to enter into the next phase of exploration, according to Ambassador Mohamoud.

According to Ambassador Mohamoud, the corporation would begin drilling of oil wells in Gambella Regional State [western Ethiopia] next year.

President and chief executive of Petronas, Sri Mohammad Hassen Marican, told Prime Minister Meles that the survey conducted by the corporation over the past two years were successful. Sri Mohammad Hassen has commended the cooperation of the Ministry of Mines as well as the regional governments, which he said, has helped the corporation to successfully undertake its projects.

Established in August 1974, Petronas is Malaysia's national petroleum corporation wholly-owned by the government. Since its incorporation, Petronas has grown to be an integrated international oil and gas company with business interests in 35 countries, according to information obtained from its official web site.

As at the end of March 2004, the Petronas Group comprised 93 wholly-owned subsidiaries, 19 partly-owned outfits and 55 associated companies.

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