Published On: Fri, Nov 2nd, 2012

Three oil companies set to drill in Somaliland by 2014

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Three oil companies are set to begin exploration in Somaliland, making it possible that the break-away state will drill its first well as early as 2014, oil minister Hussein Abdi Dualeh says.

Australia-based Jacka Resources, London-listed Ophir Energy, and Genel Energy, which is headed by former BP chief executive Tony Hayward, will all start extensive exploration activities by early next year.

“There was very low activity for years and now three groups are starting a major exploration programme all at once. 2013 is going to be a big year for us, ushering in the biggest exploration programme that this country has seen in the past 21 years,” Mr Dualeh told This is Africa in a telephone interview. “By 2014 we are hoping to drill our first exploratory well,” he added.

Somaliland, which declared independence from Somalia in 1991 when the central government collapsed, is not internationally recognised as a country, despite operating its own political system, government institutions, and currency. However, investors have been attracted by the country’s geology and a string of hydrocarbon discoveries across East Africa.

“The geology is very similar to that of Yemen, and Yemen has proven reserves of between 7bn and 9bn barrels, depending on who you listen to,” Mr Dualeh explains. “We have early indications that there are working petroleum systems present in Somaliland, it’s just a matter of finding commercial quality.”

The three oil groups operate seven blocks between them through the country’s central and south-western regions. This is the first foray into Africa for Anglo-Turkish Genel Energy, which announced in August that it had the rights to two blocks in Somaliland, amongst others in Morocco and Côte d’Ivoire. “This is their first entrance into the African continent and they are starting big. They are investing almost $30m dollars [in Somaliland] next year,” Mr Dualeh says, adding that the group’s delegation, headed by the former BP boss Tony Hayward, will be visiting the country on November 6.

A spokesperson for Genel declined to comment on capital expenditure in Somaliland, but said that it will invest $400m in its African activity over three years.

Somaliland is looking to give out its remaining onshore and offshore blocks and is in negotiation with unnamed groups, while still courting new investors. “We have not yet closed any deals, but we are in talks with some,” Mr Dualeh says. “We are looking for viable oil and gas companies that have a proven track record and the technical and financial capacity to deliver.”

In the mining sector, unnamed private equity firms backed by Chinese, Korean and Indian investors are also developing coal, manganese and iron ore projects, he says: “We have several licenses that have been issued there are good prospects to start mining iron ore in the coming year.”

Firms operating in unrecognised states encounter difficulties in the insurance sector. However, investors do not see a lot of above ground risk, Mr Dualeh argues. “We fully control the territory and have a working government. We’ve been a planning, governing country for 21 years, and we have gone through four democratically elected governments. We have very good access to markets, and a very conducive environment for investment.”

East Africa is experiencing a resource bonanza. In March this year, Tullow Oil hit oil in the north-western Turkana region of Kenya, while global oil and gas producer BG Group announced a huge gas find inTanzania. Hydrocarbon fields have been discovered across Uganda and Mozambique. Somaliland’s semi-autonomous neighbour Puntland has also been accelerating oil exploration. The Canadian firm Africa Oil began drilling two wells in January – Somalia’s first in 21 years.

by Eleanor Whitehead


  • Kayse

    The Council in Morgan's house is only good at one thing; lying. They have lied for years and shame on us for falling for their BS. I am glad going back home for the first time showed me the truth. I know this is one of their tactics to stop the many people running to Mogadishu for jobs and opportunities.

    Garadagland will remain Garadaagland even in the year 5050. Don't get me wrong there is oil in north Somalia but that oil is for the Somali Republic and its people. These oil lays in Garhajis, Esse Muse and Harti lands and none of them support secessionism.

    Ophir is going to do business with Esse Muse, Jacka Resources is drilling the Garhajis block and the other company is going to Harti and HY land in east and western Sanaag.

    These projects will benefit all Somalis and separatists will soon find out the reality.

  • PuntlandGeezer(PIS)

    I would be very happy if they found oil in somaliland but the Million Question is will the Ethiopian stooge (SNM) share the discovered wealth to improve the lives of the somali in the Horn.
    Mogadishu needs to be rebuilt, Garoowe needs hospitals, Luuq needs schools, Dhagaxbuur needs a new water well, Dhuusamareeb needs to plant trees or will they just become another Dubai.

    • Buuxiye

      Kacaan KNEW there was oil under Somaliland territory since early 1970ies.

      "International Petroleum Corporation, which has its technical headquarters in Dubai. Philips and Agip also held concessions, but the greatest undertaking was Conoco's. Conoco has been exploring in Somalia since the 1970s and holds six permits in the north."

      The attempted Genocide of the Isaaq people of the North has a direct link to the Siyaad Governments Awareness of the potential oil wealth of Somaliland. Fortunately the Kacaan government who had little awareness of the true population of Somaliland assumed they were only a hand full that can be easily removed and buried in mass graves. They failed to realise 80% of the Somalilanders were in the country side.

      :) It is with great pleasure we can confidently raise our heads and say all those contracts are NULL and VOID. Every oil block will be renegotiated by the Somaliland government on terms most beneficial to Somalianders.

      If Dhulbahante wish to share their oil $ with moqadishu then that is their choice however i doubt they will spare 1 cent to help the 2million Idps camped in moqaidshu.

      • Khaatumo Citizen

        Buuxiye I'm pretty sure he wasn't talking about the Oil in Harti degaans. he meant Berbera block. are you guys going to share it or keep it all for yourselves? tut tut

    • kaarshe

      Stop pretending your PUNTLANDER people know who your.

      Shame on you.

  • Hargaisaawi


    There will be no drop of water that will be shared with Somalia under any circumstances, my friend. They may come and work in Somaliland if there is a need for extra workers, lol!

  • F.A.

    Mashallah. May Allah help us to find oil in our lands, so that we all can go back home and live happily after with our family s in Somaliland. And may Somalia find peace a prosperaty too so thar they all can live happily ever after too. May Allah ease our problems and bless our lands in Somaliland and Somalia. Amiin and thank you Allah for giving us all those chances to improve our lives.


    Ethiopia/Yemen and Eritrea ? with that kind of talks the future of Somaliland will only
    be Somali by name only.

    Remember your population is only 3.5 million a child's play to assimilate the Somalis for a
    population like Ethiopia especially for the Oromo's which i'm sure will be the ones coming in droves.

    It seems like after century's of keeping them out of our lands/ports the Isaaq's are looking to hand
    them on a gold plate but luckily its not up to them decide ; )

    • Buuxiye

      Hawiye sheegato that is our prerogative on who to employ and who to evict and exclude without a Visa!!!

      50,000 Isaaq did no die in vain. We will never forget nor forgive.

      We somalilanders have chosen not to seek revenge and instead wish to be distant from your issues and your failures of piracy, kidnappings, extremism, human trafficking and endless invasions by enemies of Somalis…

      You call Kenyans and Ethiopians your friends, your brothers, your son in-laws WHILE they auction your oceans and divide your land into Pro-Kenya and Pro-Ethiopia… You people have no sense.

      We keep 90,000 of your women, children and elderly people safe. We have no Hate for your civilians and many more who have Money buy homes and setup business where ever they like. However we do not wish to share anything political with your 100-federal governments ever again.

      When we choose to import Cheap labour i assure you Somalia will be the last place we will consider not due to anything other then COST.

      90Million Ethiopians who are desperate for employment are willing to work for $1/day. Now i doubt people in Somalia will need such labour jobs. But if your negativity is due to your racist attitude towards Ethiopians then i suggest you FIRST stop them from invading your country you moron.


    That's not even a week now that's weak lol Buuxiye tell them the truth though of the sole
    purpose of why they got that 5/6 day holiday ? duh to join up with Italian-Somaliland what else.

    Calling yourselves Somaliland ain't helping your cause's neither because we're all Somalilanders
    because the name means the land of the Somalis so its highly time also for your people to go by its
    original name by starting to add the British in front.

    • Ismail

      Somaliland (English name)
      Somalia (Italian name)

      Somaliland + Somalia became Somali Republic, but that union name disappeared in 1991 and gone with Afweine. So, if you have any complains about the name "Somalia", pls check it with Italia and leave our name alone.

      • farxaan

        OKAY, should be referendum WHO should keep The name less Then one million isaqs vs nine million somalis The result will be obvious.

        ALL somali ethnic territory it is call"SOMALI-LAND".so, any somali person have right to claim This name.

        The word somali = in somali language "SOO-MAAL",nomad name war geela soomaal.

        Your mixing up Things here probably stack colonial era.
        Somaliland = DHULKA SOMAALIDA it's not british name BUT somali name,if it's british name They would call it "SCOTLAND".
        Somalia-somali-a-somaaliya = WADAN it's not italian name BUT somali name.

        IN my research and conclusion you better of in The long run with This name NOTHERN SOMALIA korea have north and south,yemen vietnam use have.

        The name SOMALI-LAND it can be disputed among all somalis since it carries The name SOMALI,secondlly it's colonial name,Third,not solid name,fourth, not registred name in The IC ARENA.

    • Buuxiye

      Hawiye Sheegato

      I hear Uganda is divorcing Somalia :)

      Waxa Dumaalaya Nigeria :) Muahahaha

      Acuudubilaah these nigerian troops mass murder their own muslim Nigerians and they are coming to safe Somali muslims???

      That is illogical… Nigerians left 250,000 Children after 20,000 of their troops helped Liberia for a few years :)

      The Whole 0.5-clan = less then 250,000 in 10years time the 0.5-clan will be 50% of Somalia population :) have fun

  • Omer Hussein Dualeh

    I have worked for one of best oil companies on earth for 25 years, and I have certain information about our geology and formation of the limestone, between Somaliland and the Arabian Peninsular. I remember when I first joint QP in 1976 in Dukhan, a geologist from Britain and I have visited a core store, and he told me that there are 95% plus similarities of the rock formation between Qatar and Somaliland. There was another German drilling engineers who worked in the 5th province of Ethiopia who was in Dukhan at the same time, says the same. Hence, the prospect of oil in Somaliland was in the air since, early 20th century.

  • Kayse

    You can write all the meaningless essays in the world just as you were doing it for the last two decades; they changed nothing and will not change anything now. Like I said there is oil in North Somalia but the oil is in regions under tribes that do not entertain the isolation project some call "Somaliland"; which is basically a protest camp over Siad Bare's mistakes.

    Siad didn't attack Samaroon or the Hartis, so what makes you think they feel they belong in a protest against him? It's like asking Talibans to protest against Osama Bin Laden, would they?

    You guys are just plain stupid and over emotional.

    The Garhajis who had fought with daroods for hundreds of years sees the conflict with Siad no different than the many we had with Daroods whether be Mad Mullah, the average geeljire or Afweyne. It is part of the Somali society to fight and get along.

    This is no excuse to run away, the Garhajis who shares border with Daroods from the corner of Sanaag to the deep Hawd beyond Aware has no problem with other Somalis. Just as we fought with other Isaaq subclans, we also fought with Daroods and these things will continue for sometime.

    Just because Siad Bare slapped you guys doesn't mean you go isolate your self like a victim of a bullying and even commit suicide with this silly Somaliland thing.

    Garhajis oil is going to all Somalis including you separatists….and I know Esse Mosse is the same because just as they refused the tribal Dhiigshiil their cement factory, they will also refuse them their oil for secessionism BS.

    This is the reality, Esse Muse already said no to Dhiigshiil and Silanyo's habar…ina Duale represents only that habar and he cant find oil in habar villages. This whole project is pretend game. Where is Berbera cement factory? How come Ese Muse can say no to Dhiigshiil/Telesom and anything from Silanyo but other's shouldn't?

    Garhajis are not afraid to speak their mind nor pull the trigger on anyone whether they carry blue or Gambella flag. That's the truth.

    • Reer-Dunbuluq

      You are so desperate because you know very well what finding oil in Somaliland would mean for you and your ilk. I am afraid, there is nothing you can do about it; Insha Allah, in a years or so time, Somaliland will join the family of oil producing nations, and then guess what: its long overdue recognition will be a foregone conclusion.

      I don't need to respond to the rest of your post, which is your usual garbage.

    • hassan

      Keyse, I think you should see a psychologist! The oil is there its been known since the British protectorate – read the Somali land general survey by John Hunt….

      You are indeed sick and need the attention of a psychologist.


      • Kayse

        In the end the oil is in Somaliland; the land of Somalis and thus all Somalis are entitle to it and there is nothing few subclan separatists can do about. They are lucky we gave them 21 years to get over Siad Bare but in the second round, they will serve their next grieving period in Ethiopian refugee camps.

  • Ina Jama

    Oil in United Arab Emirates was discovered in 1966 before they took independence and extreme poverty existed there. Look at them right now and Insha Allah Somaliland will be the same. You see wealth can be a blessing or a curse from Allahm, so Insha Allah it will be a blessing to Somaliland people for they are not like the leaders of Mogadisho .

  • duale

    I wonder, if its only buynig and selling shares now, at the moment, but there is an oil there. the question is are we better equiped against to those eager to take all and leave nothing for us.

  • Felicitycox

    tnx fot share

  • Felicitycox


  • theh2osupremacy

    ya this has been in the news for a while. its interesting to see how this will play out!
    H2o Supremacy – Stephan K

  • Guled Ahmed

    Kayse, T

    Take out the D in your mouth so we can hear you clearly.

  • Guled Ahmed

    . Ducking down an alley with a group of people who were to trying to cross an intersection in which is hunting ground for Siyad Bare snipers, i remember one old man saying ,' We will defeat these killers with bare arms because we are united." Today , i would say the same thing," Poverty will be defeated because of our collective determination to change the lives of our people." — Look what is happening there . One person brings Oil men to Somaliland. Another one sets up a plastic factory. One builds garment factory and another one opens a Hotel. High rise building are mushrooming in Hargeysa like spring followers .Never in the history of our people have we seen such investment pouring into our country. Pre-Somaliland independence, our people couldn't unleash their ingenuity because of the crazed communist dictator that had restrained our ability to prosper. If we have gone so far who can say we can't go any further?

  • Burcaawe

    All the above conversation about petroleum drilling in Somaliland isfact,and the wealth of Somaliland is for the Somailanders,those who want to include Mogadishu the door is open for them to go to Mogadishu
    but the petrol of somaliland is the property of Somalilanders..Stop your silly dreams of going back to
    the old system

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