Somalia Approves Major Oil Exploration Deal with Turkey

Published: March 27, 2024

MOGADISHU, Somalia (Horseed Media) — The Cabinet of Ministers of Somalia on Wednesday approved a wide-ranging agreement that allows Turkey to explore for and produce oil and gas in the East African nation, a deal aimed at helping Somalia benefit from its natural resources and reduce its reliance on international aid.

The emergency Cabinet meeting gave the green light to the oil and gas exploration and production sharing agreement signed between the two countries. Key provisions of the deal state the Turkish government will provide expertise and assistance to Somalia in the oil and gas sector so that the Somali people can capitalize on their resources.

Somalia’s Minister of Petroleum and Minerals, Abdirizaaq Omar Mohamed, told the Cabinet that the agreement will lead to economic benefits for Somalia through resource development and management of its dependency on foreign donations.

“It is necessary to produce oil in the country, as the world is now moving from oil to the use of energy,” Mohamed said in presenting the agreement, according to a government statement.

The deal includes transportation, distribution, refining, sales and services operations of oil and other products from land and sea projects, the Ministry also said.

As part of the deal, Turkish companies will take over data on potential offshore oil reserves gathered by surveying companies working in Somali waters some seven years ago. The agreement represents a significant development for the Horn of Africa nation, which has seen limited oil and gas exploration amid decades of conflict and instability.

Turkey is a key ally of Somalia and has pursued an enterprising footprint across the Horn of Africa to extend its influence in the region. Analysts expect the new deal will pave the way for further economic cooperation between Ankara and Mogadishu.

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