The Chinese firm Poly-GCL has begun drilling at Hilal-7 gas field in Ethiopia, Ezega reported. Thus far, the company has drilled five gas wells around Calub and Hilala areas in the Ogaden Basin. The drilling of Hilal-7 gas field is expected to be finalized within half a year, 2Merkato informed.

The drilling of the well was officially commenced early January in the presence of  the Ethiopian Minister of Mines, Petroleum and Natural Gas, Motuma Mekassa, and the Chinese Ambassador to Ethiopia, La Yifan.

According to the minister, the country will start extracting natural gas after 3 years. “Unlike the other drillings, the digging at Hilal-7 is special as it took into consideration exploration of both petroleum and natural gas,” he added.

Yifan, on his part, noted that such project strengthens co-operation and bilateral ties between Ethiopia and China.

Calub, Hilala Genale areas have 4.7tcf of natural gas deposits. The deposits were discovered in the 1970s.