Published On: Mon, Oct 29th, 2012

Turkish energy giant eyes Somaliland with $1billion

TAQ TAQ, Iraq: Employees work at the the oil drilling facility of the joint Turkish Genel Enerji and Canadian ADDAX Petroleum company in the area of Taq Taq (AFP PHOTO/SAFIN HAMED)

Turkey-based, London-listed Genel Energy continues with its aggressive growth with a fuel search license in Somaliland, a self-declared country. This comes after the company’s large investments in the Kurdistan Regional Government, another autonomy.

Genel Energy, an Ankara-based oil firm with vast investments in northern Iraq, announced yesterday that it has obtained an exploration license for Somaliland, the self-declared East African country not formally recognized by the international community.

“Because of its similarities with the geographical structure of the Arab peninsula, it is strongly predicted that Somaliland, a region Genel Energy prioritizes for its investment program, has important oil and coal assets,” Genel said in a press release on Oct. 29.

The company solidified its presence in northern Iraq with the acquisitions of the Bina Bawi and Miran fields this year.

$1 billion in cash

The London-listed oil explorer holds some $1 billion in cash for new investments according to the statement, which did not elaborate on the finances of the Somaliland project. It added that the company will make use of its experience working in northern Iraq in exploring the new field, which is about half the size of the Iraqi project.

The company also holds licenses for exploration in Malta and the Ivory Coast.

The autonomous region of Somaliland is not a safe haven due to security concerns and ongoing unrest in central Somalia. Yet Genel quoted a recent World Bank report declaring the region suitable for private sector structuring despite the problems in its vicinity.

The region declared its independence in 1991 following a civil war in the 1980s. The international community sees the land as an autonomous region while President Ahmed Muhammed Silanyo, elected in 2010, rules the country.

Turkey is among the main international supporters of both Somalia and Somaliland. Somaliland Foreign Minister Muhammad A. Omar was also present at the second Somalia Conference in Istanbul in May, where he met with Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu, Genel said.

The merger process between Genel – the Turkish company owned by Mehmet Emin Karamehmet – and Vallares – a fund founded by former BP chief executive Tony Hayward, British financier Nat Rothschild, banker Julian Metherell and investment manager Tom Daniel – was completed in September 2011, establishing Genel Energy International Limited. The company had an initial $2 billion reserve when its investments began in northern Iraq, controlled by the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG).


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  1. Sade Xtraordinaire says:

    LMAO!!! what never ceases to amaze me is secessionist trying to tell us that another god forgotten failed broke away region is going to drill them for oil hahhahha for 1 billion dollar cash transaction. As the spokesman for the duly elected govt of the Republic of Somalia, I can tell you there is going to be no drilling of an inch of soil in national borders of Somalia without our permission.

  2. ismail mohammed says:

    i think ur evenness amuse of dreaming and ur just laying of u self .we have work for it and will keep our boundaries and borders secure and clear also for more information we have a very peaceful good land and ocean.we have work for it tremendously and we have deserved it .we have our own well organized democratic governance we not depend so ever to ask a permission maybe we help u as we do in drought for donation like beginners . we r willing hearted to serve our nation by not talking just showing action( as quoted empty bucket makes much nosier )

  3. ismail mohammed says:

    we r proud of efforts pressurize by leaders of bringing investors which will help to boost income of country and also helps to create employments of indigenous. furthermore should consider contracts made to the investors by taking shares not depending of taxes money only but also benefits of social .viva somaliland something is better than nothing ………..!

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