Oil and Gas: Russian company signs exploration deal with Ethiopia

A Russian company is set to begin petroleum and natural gas exploration in Ethiopia after signing an agreement with the country's mines ministry.

GPB Global Resources signed the agreement last Thursday, after a year-long negotiation, which will see the Russian company exploring in the Afar region of eastern Ethiopia.

A statement from Ethiopia's Foreign ministry on Tuesday said the deal, a petroleum production and sharing agreement, will see GPB taking 30 per cent of production if the exploration yields positive results.

GBP has an estimated capital of $60 million and has been involved in Russian petroleum giant, Gazprom's oil and gas projects in Libya.

Mines minister, Tolosa Shagi and and GPB's business development director, Alexander Ivanov, signed the deal, which allows the the Russian firm to carry out preliminary explorations on 42,226 sq kilometres of the concession over the next three years.

The agreement indicates that the two-year exploration license can be renewed twice if there are positive results.

GPB will be allowed to operate for 25 years if its finds petroleum, the Foreign Affairs ministry statement said.