By: Yumoha Pasha
LUSAKA (Somalilandsun) – DNO oil Company of Norway has established operational bases in Somaliland.
The move by the Norwegian oil exploration giant is in pursuit of fulfilling its contractual arrangements as obligated by an agreement with the Somaliland government.
To launch its oil exploration work is a team of Zambian specialists contracted by DNO to explore and implement the availability of safe clean drinking water to residents of El-afweine, Dararweine and Hudun districts in the east of the country where oil Block 18 awarded the Norwegian Co is located.
DNO which explores for oil and natural gas in both frontier areas and in regions with established oil and natural gas production and infrastructure signed a Production Sharing Contract –PSC agreement Contract covering Block SL 18 onshore Somaliland in Washington DC in April 2013
The Block 18 PSC agreement sparked to life after DNO upon consultations with the Somaliland president Ahmed M Silanyo and ministers of foreign affairs and Energy at the Hargeisa presidency announced intent to pursue contractual agreements during a joint press briefing in Hargeisa on 07 January 2014.
According to reports from Hargeisa the Somaliland capital city another two teams of Experts on DNO contracts to undertake Environmental and Geological impact Assessments respectively within the confines of Block 18 are also in the country.
After Genel Energy which has conducted very successful surveys in Togdeer region where its oil concessions lounge with proven reserves in the billions of barrels the Norwegian DNO becomes the second foreign company to start implementation of its oil exploration and extraction contract with the Somaliland government .
According to sources the commissioning of a Special Oil Protection Unit-OPU recruited from within the Somaliland police force tasked with ensuring safe exploration and extraction activities for both local and foreign companies under contract with the ministry of energy, is (OPU) imminent.
The OPU whose establishment elicited uproar after a May 2014 memorandum of the UN Monitoring Group on Somalia and Eritrea said that came following announcement by the Somaliland authorities who undeterred in their pursuit to fulfill security obligations to the foreign clientele.Went ahead and the now fully trained and equipped OPU which is set to start duties this month (Aug 2014)
Trained by Former UK Special Forces officer Iain Cholerton, now an independent expert on security and defence issues in Libya and Sierra Leone, the OPU is reportedly ready to provide the level of security required by the in-country operators so that future seismic and drilling operations can be conducted safely.
Apart from DNO other international oil giants with concessions in Somaliland include Genel, RAK GAS , ANSAN WIKFI, Sterling and Jacka resources among others In whom citizens of the country whose 23 years sovereignty remains unrecognized set store as pertains to improved livelihoods.
As per rumours of discordant among some clans in the east of the country purportedly in objection to oil exploration by foreign companies , Somalilandsun sources indicate that they remain nothing more than rumours after the Hargeisa authorities cleaned foreign funded secessionists politicians from within the territorial jurisdiction of Somaliland
The governmemt of somaliland through its ministry of energy and minerals is yet to issue any statement on this new and much anticiapted development