ADDIS ABABA – Ethiopia is keen to import cheaper refined oil from South Sudan to substitute the more expensive product from the Middle East, a senior government official said on Wednesday.
State Minister for Petroleum, Koang Tutlam, was in South Sudan’s capital Juba to attend the third oil and gas conference held in partnership with Africa Oil and Power.
He told journalists in Juba that his country could save between 15-20% of the $3.4 billion used to import up to 4 million tons of refined oil from the Middle East yearly.
“We import almost all of our oil and other refined products from the Middle East, but owing to the close proximity of about 200 km between the oilfields of Pagak and Adar and the Ethiopian border, we stand to save much,” said Koang.
Addis Ababa and Juba have an agreement to build a refinery near their shared border with Ethiopia to offtake refined products.
“We are expecting it could be pretty fast, building a refinery may take one to two years, building the roads. So I think we would have it in three years if we agree to it,” Koang added.
The neighboring nation became the world’s youngest country after it split from Sudan in 2011. It has one of the largest reserves of crude in sub-Saharan Africa, only a third of which have been explored.
Caption: A worker walks by an oil well located in Ruweng State of S Sudan on Aug 25, 2018. REUTERS/File Photo