Somali opposition suspects government will sign secret oil deals

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Members of the Somali opposition this week warned that the country’s federal government was on the verge of signing a secret oil exploration and drilling agreement with two foreign companies a month before its term expired, which ” would pose a great danger ”to the future of Somalia and its natural resources.

The opposition has received reports that the Somali Ministry of Petroleum and Mineral Resources will sign the secret deal in the coming days, Abdirahman Abdishakur Warsame, leader of the opposition Wadajir party, said in a letter to senior Somali officials. published on Twitter.

“On June 5, 2018, the federal government of Somalia and federal member states signed an agreement on the sharing of natural resources in Baidoa, which stipulates that any agreement on the drilling, exploration or search for oil in the country must be transparent, thoroughly debated, evaluated and approved, and ultimately approved by the People’s House of the Federal Republic of Somalia, before it is signed, ”the letter read.

The Presidential Candidate Council (CPC) in Somalia strongly opposes the secret deal between Coastline Exploration Inc and Liberty Petroleum Corporation on block oil deals, Warsame said on Twitter.

“Any agreement on oil drilling must be transparent, thoroughly debated, evaluated, accepted and approved by Parliament, before being signed,” he added.

The secret deal would be signed just a month before the end of the current government’s term, the opposition said in the letter, noting that the timing of an oil deal “creates strong suspicion.”

Somalia launched its very first offshore licensing round in August last year. At the time, the country expected announce the winners of the oil auction in the first quarter of 2021, Ibrahim Ali Hussein, director general of the Somali Petroleum Authority (SPA), told Reuters.

By Tsvetana Paraskova for OilUSD

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