By: Yusuf M Hasan
HARGEISA (Somalilandsun) – The imminent extraction of oil in the country is to be effected under legislation pertaining to relevant policies.
According to reliable Somalilandsun sources the ministry of Energy and Minerals has completed drafting of proposed legislation that pertain to the parameters that shall be utilized in exploration, and subsequent extraction of both Oil and minerals in Somaliland.
“The protocols to oversee exploration and extraction of Oil and Minerals that have already been formulated include a Petroleum law, Petroleum policy, Petroleum Revenue Sharing and Mining Code” said our source who requested anonymity
The four proposed modus operandi for the energy sector which were devised in the English language are currently undergoing translation to Somali as prelude for the minister of energy and minerals Eng Hussein Abdi Duale submitting them to the Council of ministers for approval, amendment or rejection.
While rejection is not anticipated it is possible that approval with or without amendments is assured within the council of ministers chaired by president Ahmed Mahmud Silanyo whose administration is credited with developing the energy sectors that has ensued with the contracting of a number of international energy firms currently undertaking exploration activities in both the oil and mineral sectors.
Upon approval by the president Silanyo chaired cabinet the set of rules shall subsequently be submitted to the two tier Somaliland parliament for approval or rejection beginning at the House of Representatives, lower chamber, and later to the Guurti house of elders, upper chamber, for similar action.
Once the bills are approved by parliament they shall be submitted to the president for signature thence promulgation as law under the protection of the thus all stakeholders liable to the Somaliland constitution.
Under the stewardship of Eng Hussein Abdi Duale as minister of Energy and minerals the government of Somaliland has entered into product sharing Agreements-PSA with a number of foreign energy firms that have already completed multimillion dollar oil exploration with seismic surveys proving deposits in the billions of barrels.
Though several firms have PSA’s with Somaliland the four most activity include Genel Energy an Anglo-Turkish firm run by former BP chief executive Tony Hayward, Norwegian firm DNO International ASA, Hadramut based Ansan Wikfs Ltd and Emirati’s RAK Gas that are in advanced stages of jumpstarting oil extraction having expended the said multimillions in exploration, seismic surveys and establishment of local operational bases.
In addition to the four companies other foreign energy firms with oil concession in Somaliland include Jacka Resources of Australia, Ophir ltd of South Africa, Sterling energy, among others and Petrosoma Ltd owned by Mohamed Yusuf a multi-millionaire Somaliland investor based in London.
Following in the heels of the just established Oil Protection Unit, which is mandated with providing protection and security to the oil operators the legislations proposed by the Energy ministry are expected to streamline the myriad of legalities involved with the Revenue sharing one running paramount.
Though Eng Hussein Abdi Duale has performed superbly having managed to not only attract and contract reputable foreign energy firms notwithstanding the political pressure emanating from the Somalia Federal Government that lays claim to carte blanche authority over issuance of PSA’s, it is of import that the energy ministry embark on expedited community awareness raising relisted to not only the joint government –community ownership of the oil wells but revenue sharing accrued from Oil production as well.
Somaliland hopes that following successful exploration by international oil companies which has unearthed reserves similar to those in nearby Yemen shall facilitated extraction thence alleviate the livelihoods of its citizens.
Keep watching of this site for reports of further developments