Turkey sets up mechanism to explore oil, gas and mining opportunities in Somalia


Somalilandsun : The Turkish government is moving to exploit oil, gas and mining prospects in Somalia by establishing a mechanism that will allow both private and state-owned companies to explore energy opportunities in the country, which is strategically located in the Horn of Africa. Nordic monitor reveals

A memorandum of understanding (MoU) between Turkey and Somalia on comprehensive energy and mining cooperation signed in 2016 was approved by the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Turkish parliament a week after President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan issued a statement on an invitation by the Somali government to conduct drilling and exploration operations off its coasts.

According to the text of the agreement, obtained by Nordic Monitor, the Turkey-Somalia energy cooperation MOU will focus on projects for the exploration, production and refining of hydrocarbons; natural gas processing, storage, transportation, marketing and distribution; geosciences and reservoir engineering; petrochemical and derived products; and the development and maintenance of infrastructure and associated technologies with regards to the hydrocarbons.

The first article states that the MoU aims to “establish a comprehensive cooperation and sets out certain principles for cooperation between the Parties in the fields of energy and mining, with the purpose of developing and promoting the sectors of petroleum, gas, electricity, mineral and mining, as well as petro-chemistry.”

President Erdoğan said last month that Somalia had invited Turkey to conduct drilling and exploration operations in its waters. “We had an offer from Somalia. They said Somalia has oil in its waters. [They said] that just like in Libya, [we] could conduct the same [drilling operations] in [Somalia],” Erdoğan told journalists on the presidential plane returning from a conference on Libya in Berlin on January 19, 2020. “There are steps we’ll take there. This is something beneficial for us,” he underlined.

Erdoğan’s remarks came after the Somali parliament’s approval of a new petroleum law, which aims to provide a regulatory framework that will help to attract investment in exploration by major oil companies, upon which President Erdoğan’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) accelerated the parliamentary approval process for the Turkey-Somalia energy cooperation agreement. Recent developments and the text of the agreement reveal how Turkey plans to follow up on Somalia’s offer. Continue reading