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Somali gov't signs oil, gas exploration agreement

06 August 2013, 17:34

Mogadishu - Somalia signed oil and gas exploration agreement with a UK-based company to conduct seismic surveying of hydrocarbon potential of the east African country that locates in a region of fossil fuel potential.

The agreement was signed by the Ministry of National Resources on behalf of Somali government with the UK-based Soma Oil and Gas Exploration, said an official government statement.

It added the exploration deal "will assist in the development of Somalia's hydrocarbons sector" which remains as yet untapped.

In a statement, the Somali government said the agreement will lead to further investment and facilitate exploration "in an area of immense economic potential for the nation."

The newly formed company said in a statement that under the agreement it "will conduct seismic surveying in Somalia's territorial waters in areas agreed with the Government and in certain limited onshore areas."

"The Company will also collate and reprocess historic seismic data using modern techniques, and prepare an evaluation of Somalia's petroleum potential," Soma Oil and Gas said in a statement.

The seismic surveying is expected to establish the full extent of the country's oil and gas potential.

The exploration company will also create a data bank for the Somali government where all the country's hydrocarbon data will be placed.

A number of international oil companies were granted licences in Somalia by the previous government before the breakout of the civil conflict in 1991.

The East African region has seen numerous oil and gas findings particularly in neighboring Kenya and Uganda as well as in Tanzania and Rwanda which makes Somalia the untapped area in the region.

- Xinhua

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