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). Increasingly, Somalia’s Federal Government (in Mogadishu), has taken a more serious interest in the country’s oil and gas sector, and has acquired seismic data in order to facilitate the commencement of licencing rounds and has referred a dispute with Kenya to the International Courts of Justice (ICJ) over their mutual maritime boundary in the Indian Ocean.
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, Soma oil and gas, Amsus-Somalia, Kilimanjaro capital, DNO, and Range Resources limited.
OIL, GAS AND SECURITY IN SOMALIA
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. There have been incidents of violence against onshore oil and gas explorers in both South-Central Somalia and within territory disputed by both Puntland and Somaliland. Onshore exploration in South-Central Somalia is most challenged by al-Shabaab, and in Northern Somalia, by armed clan militias. Improvements in Somalia’s maritime security situation have made offshore exploration activity less hazardous.