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October 11, 2012

International companies to begin oil exploration in Somaliland

Filed under: NEWS — somaliland247 @ 11:46 pm
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International companies to begin oil exploration in Somaliland 

Hargeisa-Genel Energy and other international firms are moving ahead with plans to explore for oil in Somaliland, a development that officials hope will lead to prosperity and job creation in the region.

In early December, Genel Energy will start taking aerial pictures of Somaliland’s Togdheer region to look for oil deposits, according to Somaliland’s Minister of Mining, Energy and Water Resources Hussein Abdi Duale.

“The aerial search will be followed by oil exploration work, which will start in the beginning of 2013,” Duale said October 3rd as he welcomed a delegation from Genel Energy, which is headquartered in Turkey.

The company will use seismic vibrators to explore for oil and will then drill wells, he said. “This will be the first time oil is drilled in the country in 20 years.”

Duale said Genel Energy reached a working arrangement with Britain-based oil company Asante Oil, which had an initial agreement with the ministry to search for oil.

“Genel Energy’s role in this work will be 70%, and we are happy they will start this work in Somaliland. We hope that oil will be discovered in our country so we can prosper,” he said.

The delegation visited Burao, capital of the Togdheer region, on October 4th to assess the security situation for Genel Energy’s future office there.

Australia-based oil company Jacka Resources, Ltd. will also work with Petrosoma, Ltd., based in the United Kingdom, to begin aerial exploration at the end of October and will photograph 10,000 square miles, said Petrosoma’s information officer in Hargeisa Mohamed Elmi Abdalle.

Abdalle said they will transition to ground exploration in January, with the initial phase of the project costing $10 million.

Said Mohamed Elmi, chairman of the parliamentary sub-committee on environment and natural resources, said that a bill on Somaliland oil exploration will be presented to parliament in December.

The Ministry of Mining, Energy and Water Resources has reached agreements in the past few years with four other foreign companies that work in the mineral and oil sectors, Elmi said.

Opportunities for job creation

Abdirahman Aden Aar, an economics professor at Hargeisa’s Civil Service Institute, said he hopes oil production will help reduce Somaliland’s unemployment rate.

“It will enhance the country’s economy and will create jobs for unemployed youth,” he said. “This will in turn enhance the living conditions of society.”

“Not many people are educated in oil matters in the country now, so production will result in bringing in foreign experts from whom the few local skilled workers will be able to learn from,” Aar said.

About 1,700 young people recently graduated from national and private universities and are now looking for work, Aar said. “There is an imbalance each year in the number of work opportunities and those seeking work,” he said. “So [oil exploration] can be an opportunity for job creation.”


January 5, 2012

Dualeh was always ready for call from Somaliland

Dualeh was always ready for call from Somaliland


HUSSEIN Abdi Dualeh is Minister of Mining, Energy & Water Resources for the Republic of Somaliland


Hussein Abdi Dualeh’s determination and passion for the oil industry led to homecoming as a government minister

HUSSEIN Abdi Dualeh is Minister of Mining, Energy & Water Resources for the breakaway Republic of Somaliland in the Horn of Africa, a territory exactly the same as the former British Protectorate of Somaliland, but which remains unrecognised by the international community. BARRY MORGAN London.

Dualeh was born under a tree in the Saraar region of central Somaliland, and was only five when his father upped sticks and moved the family to Aden in what was then South Yemen in the Arabian peninsula.

After returning for secondary education at the reputable SOS Sheikh International School, Dualeh himself got itchy feet and set off alone for Abu Dhabi, where he got a job selling lubricants and gasoline to bulk buyers for the state-owned oil company Adnoc.

It was here that his passion for the oil business grew, doing with a determination to prepare himself for a serious role in the industry.

This idea drove him in 1979 to the University of Oklahoma, where he completed a petroleum engineering degree, with a view to building a career back in the Middle East.

However, prompt job offers from several majors upon graduation persuaded him to stay on in the US and he ended up employed by Chevron in Los Angeles.

He pushed water out of old mature oilfields in California and later moved to work offshore by the late 1980s.

“And all this time I was toiling pro bono for successive governments back home, advising Hargeisa (the capital of Somaliland) on oil and gas affairs, scrutinising contracts and purchase agreements and encouraging companies to invest in Somaliland.”

During that time, Dualeh was getting deeply involved in the turbulent politics of his homeland, a once free state with a stable polity, which asserts sovereign independence from the rump of the Transitional Federal Government in Mogadishu.

He joined the opposition Kulmiye Party — Kulmiye means the one who brings the people together — and he rose to become chairman of the party’s North American chapter, catching the eye of the party’s leader, now President Ahmed Mohamed Silanyo.

By this time in 1990 Dualeh had married and was holding down a top downstream job as operations manager with California’s Metropolitan Transport Authority, ensuring compressed natural gas supplies for the fleets and developing new business.

His Somali wife and three children were happy and thriving in the golden state.

“Then while visiting Hargeisa in July 2010 I met Silanyo face to face and he told me he had other plans for me and that I should come home. I had always dreamed of coming back to Somaliland and now, look, I’m sitting here as minister.”

His children are in their midteens and visit Hargeisa frequently.

“They’re proud of my decision to return and improve conditions in the country. They encourage me and they’re also longing to be part of the adventure… I must say, their reaction was the turning point in my story.”

He is optimistic about his life and the future. “It’s all about waking up in the morning and wanting to make things happen.”

He has little patience for majors claiming force majeure and even less for briefcase outfits showing no obvious commitment — he wants action.

“I’ve just been to China to discuss Hong Kong-based PetroTrans installing a gas pipeline from Ethiopia to our port at Berbera, along with liquefied natural gas export trains, and I think it’s a very good idea.

“We have a peaceful country, an open door policy and demand contract sanctity just as we offer contract security.”

Commenting on overtures from New York-based financier and equity venture company Jarch Capital, run by Philippe Heilberg — the company specialising in energy deals with nonsovereigns, which won sweeping exploration and production rights to the entirety of nearby South Sudan — Dualeh says they are still knocking on the door.

“Heilberg tried to do a deal but it didn’t go well. He was offered a huge slice but wanted the whole country, so we just parted ways without agreement.”

At the other end of the spectrum, Dualeh says “a lot of oddball ‘Joe Blow’ companies pass through Hargeisa, but I don’t pay them any attention — we’re looking for serious technical and financial competence to get real exploration restarted”

Sources: upstreamonline

November 25, 2011

Somaliland Government Expects Agreement With Ophir Energy ‘Within Weeks’

Filed under: NEWS — somaliland247 @ 11:42 am
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Somaliland Government Expects Agreement With Ophir Energy ‘Within Weeks’


Somaliland, the semi-autonomous region in northern Somalia, expects to conclude a project- sharing agreement with Ophir Energy Plc, amid efforts to develop the territory’s potential oil deposits, an official said.

The accord is currently being approved by Somaliland’s Council of Ministers and will be followed by the granting of approval to begin seismic surveys, Mining, Energy and Water Resources Minister Hussein Abdi Dualeh said in an interview.

“The process should be finalised within a few weeks,” Dualeh said by phone from Hargeisa, the capital, today.

Somaliland announced earlier this month that it will abandon efforts to reengage investors who left more than two decades ago at the outbreak of civil war in Somalia. Instead, the region initiated an “open door policy”, inviting potential investors to approach the government about onshore and offshore oil exploration. Tullow Oil Plc (TLW), the London-based explorer with the most licenses in Africa, expressed an interest in a licence and “indicated that they plan to visit Somaliland,” Dualeh said.

Tullow officials are due to arrive in the country on Nov. 28 for further talks, he said.

Ophir, along with companies including U.K.-based Asante Oil and Prime Resources, hold exploration licenses that have been issued since 2003. Ophir is expected to complete seismic surveys by May 2013, Dualeh said.

“Once this is done, we expect to them to go to the next exploration period, which would require Ophir to drill some wells,” he said.


Somaliland’s previous attempts to encourage exploration in the region foundered because of perceptions among investors that the country has the same security concerns as Somalia. The former British colony declared independence from Somalia in 1991, following the ouster of former Somali dictator Mohammed Siad Barre. No sovereign state has formally recognized the area as independent.

Investor concerns about security are misplaced, said Hassan Mohamoud, a spokesman for Asante Oil, which has a staffed office in Hargeisa.

“The communities are aware of the benefits that come with oil and they are the ones inviting companies to explore,” Mohamoud said in an interview yesterday. “The risk is minimal.”

To contact the reporter on this story: Mark Anderson in Hargeisa via Nairobi at

November 1, 2011

Somaliland says has huge, unexplored oil potential

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Somaliland says has huge, unexplored oil potential

CAPE TOWN Nov 1 (Reuters) – The break-away African nation of Somaliland has huge hydrocarbon potential but is virtually unexplored, an African oil conference heard on Tuesday.

Hussein Abdi Dualeh, Somaliland’s mining and energy minister, said the country was off investment radar screens not least because many people did not even know it existed.

But he told delegates at the annual Africa Oil Week series of conferences that geography and geology highlighted its oil and gas potential.

“There is very high potential for considerable reserves of hydrocarbons in Somaliland but it is one of the least explored countries in the region,” he said.

He said even by the East Africa’s under explored standards, Somaliland was a frontier with only 21 wells drilled.

But he noted that the geology of Somaliland was similar to oil-rich areas across the Gulf of Aden.

East Africa have yet to produce a commercially viable oil source but gas discoveries off Mozambique and Tanzania have prompted lots of interest though the region remains largely unexplored.

Oil discoveries would be a cash boon to Somaliland though hydrocarbons have often proven to be a curse to African nations as the opaque nature of the industry often breeds corruption.

Somaliland declared its independence from Somalia in 1991 but has not been formally recognised internationally. (Reporting by Ed Stoddard; editing by James Jukwey)

May 23, 2011

Somaliland President Revokes Total License to Manage Oil-Storage Facility

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Somaliland President Revokes Total License to Manage Oil-Storage Facility

Somaliland revoked Total SA (FP)’s license to manage an oil- storage facility at the port of Berbera after it failed to import fuel into the country for the past two years.

The government of Somaliland will take over management of the facility with immediate effect, President Ahmed Mohamud said in a decree yesterday in the capital, Hargeisa. Florent Segura, a spokesman for Total, wasn’t immediately available to comment when called today in Paris.

The edict was issued after Somaliland’s parliament refused to ratify an agreement between Total and the government, according to the statement from Mohamud. Total took over management of Berbera port’s oil-storage facilities in January 2000, Jamhuuriya, a Hargeisa-based media group, reported in 2000.

Somaliland, a former British colony, declared independence from Somalia in 1991 after the fall of dictator Mohammed Siad Barre. While no country has yet officially recognized its independence it has remained largely free of the clan warfare, kidnappings and assassinations that have plagued Somalia.

Mohamoud Ali Mohamed

December 21, 2010

Beijng to Roll Out the Red Carpet for Somaliland President

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Beijng to Roll Out the Red Carpet for Somaliland President

CNOOC is trying to win oil concessions directly from Somaliland after initially negotiating with Somalia’s central government, which has no say in Somaliland.

Somaliland president Ahmed Mohamed Silanyo is due to fly to China early in the new year in the wake of a visit to the Somaliland last April by a Chinese delegation that included two officials from the China National Offshore Oil Corp. (CNOOC).

The Chinese company wants to pick up acreage in Somaliland where Conoco identified oil and gas reserves in the 1980s. CNOOC made an initial attempt to debut in the province in 2006 by negotiating a production sharing contract covering the Mudug area in Somaliland with the Transitional Federal Government (TFG) in Mogadishu.

However, the agreement remained a dead letter because Somaliland doesn’t recognize TFG’s authority.

As a result, CNOOC switched its strategy early this year in favor of making direct contact with authorities in the province. If the company is awarded concessions it will find itself operating in both a legal minefield and an insecure environment. American companies active in the country until the late 1980s still believe themselves to be owners of their concessions and consider the acreage has simply been placed under force majeure (No. 562).

In addition, the Somaliland government has no geological data on its subsoil. The results of drilling campaigns in the 1980s have been retained since the early 2000s by a small British concern, Fugro-Robertson, which has refused to turn them over to the Somaliland government.

To make up for that lack of information, Somaliland retained TGS-Nopec in 2009 to acquire 5,300 km of seismic and magnetic data as well as 34,700 km of aeromagnetic data.


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