The advisors to the outgoing oil minister, Abdulkadir Mohamed Diesow, are bustling about while they wait to find out who will be their new boss.
While Abdullahi Haider is running from one oil conference to another (he was in London for one at the beginning of the month and will be in Cape Town in two weeks time), another advisor to Somalia`s former oil minister Abdulkadir Mohamed Diesow is inundating oil companies with letters and emails to persuade them to take up or revive search permits in Somalia. The companies concerned include Shell, Conoco, Talisman and BP, but Total and the Indonesian company MedcoEnergi have also been contacted.
One of these emails dated 13 September was sent to Tony Hayward, the CEO of Genel Energy, a company whose lead shareholder is Nathaniel Rothschild and which holds a permit in Somaliland. It informed him that the authorities inMogadishu risk not recognising the legality of a permit signed with the government in Hargeisa, whose independence is not internationally recognised. This email reminded Hayward, not without a certain degree of humour, that he had been contacted by the same officials of the Somalian energy ministry while he was CEO of BP about blocks that this company had put under “force majeure”.
© Copyrights 2012 Indigo Publications All Rights Reserved
Somalia says pre1991 oil firms ready to resume operations
Platts Commodity News
November 02, 2012
Cape Town — Somalia said companies with licenses two decades old are ready to resume operations in the country while new companies have also shown interest in future exploration, a senior government official said Friday.
The energy ministry`s senior adviser Abdullahi Haider said he held fruitful discussions this week with Total, Chevron and Royal Dutch Shell, who have all indicated their readiness to return to the country.
Speaking on the sidelines of Africa Oil Week in Cape Town, Haider said US` Apache has also expressed interested in exploring.
Haider earlier in the week said the government would be accepting new applications for exploration licenses but that companies with existing licenses from prior to the civil war would be given priority.
He also said that the pre-1991 companies, which also include Talisman, Neste, Eni and ConocoPhillips, would have two months to confirm their interest in finalizing terms for production sharing contracts or face losing their rights.
The government will be opening a new round of licensing in early 2013, inviting applications from new companies for exploration of both onshore and offshore blocks in Somalia.
© Copyright 2012. Platts. All Rights Reserved.
Shell tests the waters
Africa Energy Intelligence
October 10, 2012
The apparent improvement in the political and security situation in Mogadishuhas prompted the Anglo-Dutch major to make fresh contact with the local authorities.
According to our sources, several executives from Shell held talks on Oct. 1 with an adviser of Somali mines and oil minister Abdullahi Haider. The contact took place at the East Africa Oil & Gas Summit organized by CWC inLondon and allowed the company, which owned concessions in Somalia in the 1980s, to outline its current position.
No promises were made but Shell`s representatives indicated the group was open to further discussions although situation in Mogadishu still remained unsettled.
A few weeks ago Somalia`s mines and energy ministry sent letters to all companies which froze their investments in the country after the fall of president Said Barre in 1991. The companies, which included Shell, Marathon, Chevron and others, retained rights on their acreage by legally invoking force majeure. The letter from the ministry asked them to voice their thoughts concerning a resumption of work in Somalia.
Officials at the ministry who deal with oil (they number five) live mostly overseas, including a geologist based in Calgary. They hope that better political conditions on the ground (a new parliament and president) along with improved security following the departure of the Islamist AlShebab militia fromMogadishu and their dispersal in the south of the country will be enough to lure oil companies back to the country.
Mogadishu intends to adopt new oil legislation next year that will oblige foreign companies to talk first of all to the oil ministry, even if they want to explore in the breakaway provinces of Puntland and Somaliland.
At present, exploration has made the most headway in Puntland, where two disappointing wells were drilled early this year by Africa Oil. The new law is expected to impose production sharing contracts and to significantly reduce the size of blocks awarded to oil groups.
© Copyright 2012 Indigo Publications All Rights Reserved