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BusinessUK oil firm relinquishes exploration blocks in Ogaden

UK oil firm relinquishes exploration blocks in Ogaden

A British oil and gas company, Delonex Enegry, which has been prospecting for oil in the Ogaden basin, relinquished its exploration blocks.

Delonex acquired exploration area covering a total area of 29,856 sq.km from the Ministry of Mines in 2014. The company has been operating in blocks 18,19 and 21 located in the Abred-Ferfer area in the Ethio-Somali Regional State.

After acquiring the exploration license Delonex conducted various exploration work in the license area. According to Delonex, it has conducted a gravity and magnetic survey covering a total area of 29,865 sq.km plot. The company conducted a 2D seismic survey on 1,382 km targeting three major areas and the project was completed in March 2016.  

Reliable sources told The Reporter that after interpreting and analysing the geological data petroleum experts of the company believed that the exploration area is not prospective enough to carry out further exploration work. Consequently, the company decided to relinquish the concession. Sources said the company has handed over the blocks to the Ministry of Mines, Petroleum and Natural Gas.

According to sources, Delonex Energy has requested another exploration blocks in the Ogaden basin. The company requested blocks 10 and 14 located north of the Calub gas fields. Officials of the Ministry of Mines, Petroleum and Natural Gas have been evaluating the proposal submitted by Delonex. “The company believes that these blocks are more prospective,” sources said. “The petroleum licensing and administration directorate has approved the application. The new draft exploration license should be endorsed by the Council of Ministers,” they added.           

Delonex Energy Limited engages in discovering, developing, and commercializing hydrocarbons in East and Central Africa. The company was founded in 2013 with a seed capital of USD 600 million and is based in London, United Kingdom. The company has subsidiaries and locations in London, United Kingdom; New Delhi, India; and Nairobi, Kenya.

The Company’s key strategic areas include the East African Continental Rift System, which extends from the Red Sea through Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania to Mozambique; the Central African Rift System from Chad to South Sudan, and the coastal margins of East Africa. The company is currently active in Ethiopia, Kenya and Chad and seeking to expand its business further in East Africa and into West Africa.

Warburg Pincus LLC, a New York based global private equity firm, owns a 48 percent stake in Delonex Energy. Founded in 1966, Warburg Pincus has raised 13 private equity funds which have invested more than 45 billion dollars in over 675 companies in more than 35 countries. IFC, the investment arm of the World Bank, has also made an equity investment of 60 million dollars in Delonex.        

According to the Ministry of Mines, Petroleum and Natural Gas currently there are five licensed international oil and gas companies which are engaged in oil and gas exploration and development projects in various parts of the country. Poly-GCL Petroleum Investments Limited, New Age, Africa Oil Corporation, South West Energy and Gazprom are the five companies that are prospecting for oil and gas in Ethiopia. Tullow Oil, another British Oil firm which has been prospecting for oil in South Omo basin has pulled out of Ethiopia.                         

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