The Chinese company that acquired the Calub and Hilala gas fields in eastern Ethiopia, POLY GCL Petroleum Investment Limited, this week announced that it plans to start extracting natural gas from the gas fields by 2018.
On November 16, 2013, the Ethiopian Ministry of Mines and POLY GCL Petroleum Investment Limited signed petroleum exploration and development agreements in Addis Ababa.
The agreement enables Poly GCL to develop the Calub and Hilala gas fields found in the Ogaden basin in Eastern Ethiopia. The agreement also allows Poly GCL to prospect for oil and gas in Blocks 3&4, 11&15, 12&16, 17&20 exploration blocks in the Ogaden basin.
According to Li Wei, general manager of Poly GCL, since signing the PSA, Poly GCL organized a competent project team and set up a management system in accordance with international petroleum industry practice. “We have submitted the 2014 work program and budget, finished the comprehensive geology and geophysical study, signed the contract with a company to begin the Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) study,” Wei told The Reporter via email.
According to Wei, Poly GCL is in the process to hire a company that would undertake a seismic survey and drill exploration wells for additional discovery. “We are preparing bidding documents for seismic and drilling work tender,” Wei said.
According to the current plan, the first stage of the project will produce around 3 million tons of LNGs (Liquefied Natural Gas) annually and is expected to go into production in 2018. According to the exploration and development plan, 4 billion cubic meters of natural gas will be produced each year from Calub and Hilala block and option is to transport the gas northward through a pipeline of 800 km long to Djibouti port and finally market the products in the international market.
As to the figure of total investments, the company said it can only be estimated after certain exploration work and the completion of the Master Development Plan.
“Empirically, we have started both the exploration and construction work, for instances, the site survey, the bidding process for different packages, the Preliminary Front End Engineering Design (Pre-FEED) studies, the renovation and construction of the camp site, etc.”
The company said it is planning to start the seismic acquisition of exploration in 2015 and the construction and the installation for surface engineering in 2016.
The Calub gas field was first discovered by an American oil company, Tenneco, in 1972. The Hilala gas field was discovered by Soviet Petroleum Exploration Expedition (SPEE) in the 1980s. The total gas reserve is estimated at 116 billion cubic meters. (4TCF). Eight gas production wells were made ready for production by Zhongyuan Petroleum Exploration Bureau (ZPEP), a Chinese petroleum exploration company.