Somalia’s Oil Minister Abdirashid Mohamed Ahmed, has said that the country will announce its first-ever oil licensing round in December.
Ahmed made this known in an interview with Reuters on Tuesday, November 5.
The Minister explained on the sidelines of an African oil and gas conference in Cape Town, South Africa, that 15 blocks which they are presenting, could hold as much as 30 billion barrels of crude oil going by the data received by the government.
He stressed that the new blocks were far from the maritime boundary with Kenya that is currently the subject of disagreements at the International Court of Justice.
The country which is burdened with civil unrests is seeking to draw new investments. In October, about three mortar bombs were fired at Mogadishu’s International Airport.
But Ahmed argued that the international naval blockades had almost eradicated offshore piracy at the former hotspot for maritime hijackings.
“Somalia was known before for piracy, terrorists, unrest and all that, but the federal government of Somalia is doing its best to stabilise the country,” Ahmed said.
“For the past decade or so there has not been one casualty of piracy, so offshore is safe to invest.”
He added that the new oil and gas investment would assist in creating jobs and curbing crime across the country.
“Somalia has a roadmap we can follow after we produce oil, so there will be no (resource) curse here in Somalia,” he said, referring to a tendency among some resource-rich countries to suffer from economic stagnation.
It would be recalled that Kenya exported its first crude oil to China in early 2019 after breaking its diplomatic tie with its neighbour, Somalia, over an oil-rich borderland.
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