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Ethiopia (the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia) is land-locked in the Horn of Africa bordering Eritrea (north), Djibouti and Somalia (east), Sudan and South Sudan (west), and Kenya (south).

The first modern humans lived in Ethiopia 200,000 years ago. In 2000 BC a civilisation existed which became the kingdom of D’mt, followed by the Christian Kingdom of Aksum around 100 AD. After the decline of Aksum in 940, a series of dynasties ruled an isolated Abyssinian empire that avoided links with Europe.

From 1755, under the Sultanate of Aussa, the empire was ruled by warlords until 1855 when Britain forged an alliance. The country was reunited although it came under constant attack from Ottoman, Egyptian, and European forces.

Present-day Ethiopia was established in 1889, defeating Italy in 1896. In 1916 Haile Selassie came to power, modernising and becoming emperor in 1930. Italy occupied from 1936 until liberation by the UK in 1941.

In 1953 Ethiopia annexed Eritrea (to 1993). In 1974 a military dictatorship, known as the Derg, took over, backed by the USSR. Civil wars, communist purges and famine devastated the economy until the Derg were removed in 1991. After a war with Eritrea from 1998 to 2000 the economy began to recover although political unrest persists.

Most of Ethiopia lies on the Horn of Africa; the easternmost part of the African landmass. The country comprises highlands and dissected plateaus divided by the Great Rift Valley which runs southwest to northeast.

The valley is surrounded by lowlands and steppes with semi-desert along the eastern border of the country. Lake Tana in the north is the source of the Blue Nile.

Ethiopia has no identified indigenous oil or gas reserves although a number of discoveries have been made which are yet to be produced including the Calub and Hilala fields, discovered in the 1970s. These are reported to have substantial gas and condensate resources.

Numerous areally extensive production sharing agreements have been awarded in the past few years and some oil discoveries have been made on trend with discoveries in Kenya. None of these have yet resulted in commercial oil or gas production, probably due to the difficulty in accessing a market within the land-locked country.

A number of East African rift basins in southern Ethiopia, on trend with those in Uganda and Kenya, may eventually yield commercial oil and gas discoveries in the Ogaden Basin may also eventually be piped to Djibouti. However, with so many uncertainties, Globalshift has not yet assigned an oil or gas production profile to the country.


Map and National Flag

South and East Africa


E and P


Oil and gas summary Brief history of the country



Land area (sq kms)

Oil prod (000s b/d)

Gas prod (bcm/yr)

Oil cons (000s b/d)

Gas cons (bcm/yr)


Addis Abbaba

82 mm






Ethiopia is an authoritarian federal republic. There are 11 administrative regions, 2 of which are self-governing. The Federal Parliamentary Assembly is bicameral comprising a 547-member Council of People's Representatives and a 110-member Council of the Federation.

The president is elected by the Peoples' Representatives for a 6-year term. The Council of Ministers includes the Prime Minister  and several deputies as determined by the Peoples' Representatives.

The oil and gas industry is overseen by the Ministry of Mines, Petroleum and Natural Gas (MoMPNG) whose role is to generate data, promote and negotiate licenses and ensure that operations are conducted in accordance with concession agreements.

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