Somalia to launch Oil Licensing Rounds in August

Somalia will launch its offshore licensing rounds in August putting on sale seven oil blocks as the Horn of Africa nation seeks to exploit its vast oil resources.

The Ministry of Petroleum said Tuesday the launch will be done online in light of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

“The 2020 Somali licensing round features up to 7 blocks that are up for the bidding process which are estimated to be among the most prospective areas for hydrocarbon explorations and production in Somalia,” the Ministry said in a statement.

“This licensing round will open on 4th of August this year and will be closing on 12th March 2021.”

Petroleum Minister Abdirashid Mohamed Ahmed said the launch of licensing round provides an opportunity for Somalia to present to potential investors oil exploitation opportunities.

“This event is the starting point to allow the Somali Government to better showcase the vision that our country has for our petroleum and gas industry to potential foreign investors,” said Ahmed.

The Minister noted Somalia ‘is committed to attracting investment and promoting partnership and business in all segments of the oil and gas industry value chain.’

Oil majors Exon and Shell returned to the country in February where they agreed on a joint venture with the Federal Government which saw them pay pending surface rentals amounting to $1.7 million.

Somalia had set January 2020 the deadline for completion of licensing rounds following a London oil conference in February 2020.

The Upper House passed the amended Petroleum Law in February which incorporates a Revenue Sharing model between the Federal Government, Federal Members States and oil producing districts.

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