Ethiopia denies signing oil pipeline deal with Kenya

Ethiopia denies signing oil pipeline deal with Kenya

The Ethiopian Ministry of Mines, Petroleum and Natural Gas has denied the recent media report which claims that Ethiopia and Kenya had signed oil pipeline deal.

An Ethiopian government high-level delegation led by Prime Minister Hailemariam Dessalegn visited Kenya at the end of June and signed various bilateral cooperation agreements in areas of energy, animal health, education and sport.

A joint ministerial meeting was also held in Nairobi, Kenya. The Kenyan media reported that an oil pipeline construction agreement was signed by Prime Minister Hailemariam and the Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyata. According to the media report, the proposed pipeline would run all the way from Lamu to Addis Ababa.

However, the Ethiopian Minister of Mines, Petroleum and Natural Gas has completely denied the vera city of the report. “We did not sign pipeline construction deal. This is utterly an erroneous report,” Tolossa Shagi told The Reporter yesterday. “A proposal was presented to us but this is not something that we jump into abruptly. We need to evaluate the technical and economical feasibility. Our legal experts have to asses the proposal,” Tolosaa said.

However, the minister said that the government of Ethiopia agreed to evaluate the proposal thoroughly and may sign the deal by the end of 2016 if the proposal is economically and technically sound.

Tolossa said they had agreed to take some time and see the matter in detail. He said that they will hold more talks and may ink a deal if they find the project proposal economically and technically sound. He further stressed that no deal of construction was signed.

The minister, however, said that a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed by the governments of Ethiopia and Kenya on oil and gas cooperation. “Kenya has discovered oil reserves in different parts of the country. So we agreed to work on experience sharing and training. We signed an oil and gas cooperation agreement,” he said.

They also agreed to finalize the agreement on the development and operation of a product oil pipe from Lamu Port to Addis Ababa by the end of 2016.

Source: The Reporter

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