Oil, Gas and Security Somalia
OIL AND GAS AVAILABILITY IN SOMALIA
Somalia is known to have significant deposits of gas. However the current focus of oil and gas related activity is the development of oil wells is Puntland in Northeast Somalia. There have also been Production Sharing Contracts (PSCs) signed to commence exploration for oil and gas in Somaliland (Northwest Somalia).
SOMALIA’S PROVEN OIL AND GAS RESERVES
The onshore Nugaal and Dharoor valleys are the current focus of exploration and development activities in Somalia. The two wells that have been drilled in the Dharoor valley blocks are thought to contain reserves of 300 million barrels of oil in each well.
COMPANIES INVOLVED IN SOMALIA’S OIL AND GAS SECTOR
The companies most active in oil exploration and development in Somalia are the African Oil Corporation and Range Resources limited.
SECURITY RELATED ISSUES IN SOMALIA’S OIL AND GAS SECTOR
Considering the ongoing security challenges faced by Somalia, conducting oil exploration (even outside of the most violent region-South Central Somalia) is a risky endeavour. Puntland and Somaliland – two autonomous regions – generally have a better record of reigning in insecurity (with the exception of Puntland, which is home to many of Somalia’s pirates). However the retreat of al-Shabaab from Mogadishu in August 2011 has meant that they have now moved to other parts of the country. In September 2011, the President of Puntland – Abdirahman Farole – blamed al-Shabaab for the surge in violence in the semi-autonomous region, which is where the most advanced oil operations are taking place.