Published On: Tue, May 1st, 2012

Australia-based Jacka Resources plans to start oil exploration in Somaliland

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Written by CSM Magazine May 01, 2012 at 05:08 AM
Australia-based Jacka Resources plans to start oil exploration in Somaliland, a region of Somalia that declared itself independent in 1991. Nice work if you can get it.

Let’s say it’s a country that is not recognized by any other country, so all business has to be conducted either in off-shore accounts or in cash. On land, militant groups fight against the government and take the occasional foreign aid worker hostage. At sea, pirates attack and capture freighters, tankers, and even pleasure boats. Most food in the local economy comes from foreign donations, because the region is prone to conflict and famine.
Would you invest in such a country?
Australia’s Jacka Resources gas and oil exploration company would. And if you guessed that the country is Somalia, you’re very close. The country is Somaliland, which declared itself independent from Somalia in 1991, and has remained a functioning, but unrecognized, independent republic ever since. Much safer and more stable than its eastern and southern neighbor, Somaliland also sits in a geological zone where oil is likely to occur, and it recently awarded its first oil concessions to foreign oil prospecting companies.
Jacka Resources – which has also successfully explored oil in Uganda’s Lake Albert – will begin seismic tests, gravity tests, and exploratory drilling soon in the 22,000 square kilometer Habra Garhajis block in southwestern Somaliland, where oil has been found to seep to the surface in at least nine separate locations.
Jacka chairman Scott Spencer said that his company looked forward to working together with Petrosoma, a Somali affiliate of Prime Resources Limited, on exploring the Habra Garhajis block, which he says has “enormous potential.”
Jacka is not alone. The Somaliland government has also signed exploration agreements with London-listed company Ophir Energy, Asante Oil, and Prime Resources, which owns Petrosoma.
Whether this newfound economic activity is a good thing or not probably depends on one’s outlook. For many Somalilanders, any form of investment is a good thing, creating the possibility of new local jobs both with the oil prospectors and with the transportation, housing, restaurants, and other service-industry business that would potentially do business with Jacka Resources.
Mohammed Yusuf Ali, chairman and chief executive officer of both Prime Resources and Petrosoma, said, “this is a great day for all Somalilanders,” adding, “all Somalilanders will benefit if we discover oil in this block.”
But oil is not always a blessing for a poor country emerging from conflict.
In Nigeria, oil revenues are one of the biggest sources of corruption for government officials. It’s one of the major sources of tension between citizens and their government, and between regions that have oil and those that don’t. Oil discovered along poorly demarcated international borders is especially problematic, as the current fighting between Sudan and South Sudan shows.
The shaky transitional government of Somalia has already complained about Kenya’s discovery of offshore oil in waters claimed by Somalia, a matter that Somalian Foreign Affairs Minister Abdullahi Haji called “a territorial argument that came after oil and gas companies became interested in the region,” in an interview with Reuters.
The notion that oil is a curse is a bit overdone, of course.
Some countries with strong legal systems, such as Britain, Norway, and Ghana, manage to squeeze a bit of benefit out of the oil trade with little negative effect. Other countries, such as Angola, Nigeria, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Sudan, and South Sudan are not so fortunate.
But for Somaliland, simply having a conversation about the possible downsides of an oil-based economy is a discussion – and even a curse – worth having.

Displaying 28 Comments
Have Your Say
  1. Puntland warrior says:

    masha allah our country is blessed from all corners, just hope the ethiopian regime in hargeisa stops this useless war against SSC.

  2. Jackal says:

    I guess there would be territorial war, where is habra gerhajis? And why this name? I suppose it is in khaatumo?.

    • ahmed ali says:


  3. osman5 says:

    As a self-proclaimed critic myself, I’d say yes, oil money can be a problem if it isn’t managed and distributed equally, either it puts people in a deep comma like the people in the Mideast or it drives civilians nuts, look at Nigeria, Sudan, and Yemen.

    Aside from the 2 extremes, I did not see a middle ground thus far.. Therefore it could be a curse, so, if indeed oil potentials in Somaliland would be converted into opportunities, we have to watch what we wish for. I hope steal aonther show again as we did in the last elections..
    I did take into for Britain and Norway because they had earnable sources of income prior to oil wealth..

    Osman Qaal

  4. amal says:

    MashAllah, may Allah bless it. I still can't become overexcited about it until we see it for real. I can't imagine Somaliland as a rich oil producer (seems too good to be true) But when we get it, inshAllah it won't be a curse because Somaliland before going into these deals has built a stable and democratic government. Somaliland is a true example for Africa.

  5. amal says:


    "I guess there would be territorial war, where is habra gerhajis? And why this name? I suppose it is in khaatumo?"

    Why would there be a territorial war, do you think this is Somalia? (where every clan is fighting for a territory to add to their so-called mini tribal states) habra garxajis is located near hawd (oodwayne) and is a historical name and was called that name by the Britz aswell. Somalilanders don't have a problem with the name of the block because they are civilised and smart people and the oil is for somaliland from west to east so who cares about what it is called.

    • Ahmed says:

      "do you think this is Somalia"? why do you have mention Somalia? If You Don't Have Anything Nice to Say about Somalia, Don't Say Anything At All. Get over you hatred of Somalia sis.

  6. osman5 says:

    Territorial war is not our concern. Somalilanders are not at that level of stupidity. The main concern would be how the wealth could be reached to khatumo since it's located in the one of the least developed regions in Somaliland due to your outdated mentality.

    Osman Qaal

  7. amal says:

    Could not have said it better, exactly

  8. Ahmed says:

    MashaAllah Somaliland, Somalis all over the globe are proud of you.

  9. Ahmed says:

    MashaAllah Somaliland, Somalis all over the globe should be proud of you.

  10. amal says:

    @ Ahmed

    What makes you think I hate Somalia. It's true Somalis in Somalia fight over territory because there are dozens of mini tribal states inside Somalia without a government each struggling for survival of the fittest whilst Somaliland is one inclusive state government by a democratic state government directly elected by the people and for the people.

    Secondly if you are southerner, well done. This is the first time a southerner said mashAllah to Somaliland. Nevertheless, what's good for Somaliland is good for all Somalis and Somaliland and Somalia are both rich in oils.

    Thirdly, Somalia's evil hatred towards Somaliland and its people has reached PEAK and they even shamelessly go as low as insulting our women. Now when Somalilanders disassociate with the southerners or even react to their provocation, you all cry and say Somalilanders cuqdadba ka buxda, give me a break!

    • hassan berbera says:

      Amal stop talking to your self or you end up mental hospital & impersonating all This people,to me you sound intelligent chick or may be your middle age lady not to call a chick & far much better gobaad runing around with baseball Pad hitting every one & cursing.

    • Ahmed says:

      First of all, lets get one thing straight sis. Somalia do not have any hatred towards Somaliland.
      Our support for Greater Somalia doesn't make us your enemy. Dar@od doesnot hate Isa@k as most of you think. The people of Somaliland are our brothers and sisters and their succes is our succes.

    • Ahmed says:

      Second, lets charch people by their personal activities and not generalise the individual actions to the entire tribe/Nation. These shameless individuals such as Gelle Maalim who insulted our women is a disgrace to all Somalis and his view does not represent Somalia.

  11. Oday iidoor says:

    As every somalilander says , somaliland is full of minerals such as gold, Uranium Chrome, Platinum, copper, coal, iron ore , oil , gas and more. If that is the case, then there will not be a poor somalilander in this country if the revenue from the minerals are properly handled. Therefore it is the responsibility of our elected parliment to make the necessary rules that will define the rights of the central governoment. in other words, what percent of the revenue from the those minerals is the central governomen supposed to have? and what percent the local government of the area a commercial mineral is discovered is allowed. The sooner the parliment makes laws, the better.

  12. hirsigaab says:

    u hatemongers, we have no problem with Garxajis unless u r Xiiran or Yibir square, we want progress and better life, so if Garxajisman , born in Aden, Yemen and grown in the UK is doing that, what is problem? we wlc it, but if u r hateful man, hell with u. Garxajis land is in the formation, u feel scared of thier d*ck? lol

  13. Abraham says:

    Habar Jarxajis is a name given to the block by the British before independence. Nothing wrong with it really. The only debate should be, if oil is found in Somaliland how are we going to make use of it to improve our economy and the standard of life of our people from Awdal to Sanaag.

  14. mohamed cheers says:

    Folks, keep your mouths shut and fingers crossed..Something good is coming to the less
    populated..3-4 Million. With oil comes all modernizations. Look at the what the black gold oil
    wealth did to the more relatively hostile enviornment arid/desert lands of the GCC peninsular.
    Let's all embrace this new beginning. The CEO MR Mohamed Yusuf ALI, is an expert successful
    International business tycoon and we should be proud to welcome him to his forefather's
    homeland of Somaliland Republic. I think this Company is highly prospective to succeed.
    It would seem that Somaliland would gain good experiences from the GCC ways of successes.
    not mention the least about the leading western knowhows.

  15. Adam says:

    Inshallah Khair

  16. MsSomaliland says:

    Inshah ALaah Khair….We have a blessed country & people , even though at times our people can come across to outsiders as lil aggressive & raw, but never the less we know when to call it quits so ha u qadanina tvyada lasku so hor fadhisanayo wax serious ah! Somalilanders are sincere & peace loving people with no CUQDAD, ……that's why Alah showers us with his blessings on a daily bases…Anxamdulilaah.

  17. Ahmed says:


  18. Aden says:

    Lets close our eyes and forgive each other. Let repect each other. Let is hope for the best each other. We are somalilanders will have better lives. we are simply never look back and down. loan forward

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