Somaliland’s Oil and Gas Exploration Attempt: Prospects of Opportunities and Challenges



Somaliland to commence the long awaited its hydrocarbon natural resources will not be an easy task considering the multi-dimensional aspects of political economy implications, social vulnerabilities and international market trends which the oil price fluctuates over the past recent years. By end-2014, retail fuel prices had declined globally, on average, by only half as much as world oil prices [1].

There is a heated debate about how Somaliland can produce its natural resources and how this is domestically agreeable in order to respond the extreme poverty, poor infrastructure and the high rates of unemployment, the exploitation of resources could have significant benefits for local communities in the form of employment opportunities, infra-structure development, citizen participation in decision-making and better institution-building [2].

On the other hand, Somaliland pursues its first phase of geological exploration interventions, without data available throughout the Somaliland and Somalia in general. But this current survey underway in some regions of Somaliland will be the first coordinated oil and gas exploration activities attracted foreign investors to consider the area. From a regional perspective the geology of Somaliland shows many similarities with Yemen and the exploration has focused on searching for Jurassic rifts where source-rocks have accumulated [3].

Moreover, Somaliland has started its first seismic interventions in 2013, although it was not succeeded due to some internal conflicts between grassroots communities and companies exploring the blocks. Seismic operations have been suspended due to deterioration in the security environment. Discussions continue in order to facilitate a resumption of activity [3]. Again Somaliland resumed the exploration survey April 2017 in the blocks that Genel Energy manages which are situated in the regions of part of Sool, Togdheer and Maroodi-jeex.

In the meantime, the exploration activities namely seismic acquisition program was restarted again in 2017 [4]. The Ministry of Energy and Minerals gave more priories to engage grassroots communities on issues of oil and gas ongoing seismic survey and right now the seismic activities going on peacefully, the Genel Energy blocks are 3000km2 adding 2500km2 of  DNO and RAKGAS, this is the largest seismic survey currently underway in the region” [5].

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Somaliland’s Oil and Gas Exploration Attempt: Prospects of Opportunities and Challenges


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