May 2020: The Ministry of Petroleum and Mineral Resources announced the launch of Somalia’s 1st Offshore Licensing Round. Due to COVID–19, it will be run virtually. Up to 7 blocks are available from the 4th of August to the 12th March 2021 with results announced in early 2021.
Mar 2020: The Ministry of Petroleum and Mineral Resources has agreed on an initial roadmap with a Shell/ExxonMobil joint venture focused on offshore hydrocarbon blocks. This will enable conversion of prior agreed concessions into PSAs under provisions of the Petroleum Law.
Nov 2019: The unelected Federal Government of Somalia (FGS) has delayed plans to licence offshore acreage until the end of 2019 when a new Petroleum Law is due to have been passed into law. However, neither Puntland nor the breakaway Republic of Somaliland have ratified the so-called Baidoa Accord between the states.
Aug 2019: Genel Energy (operator, 75%) said that interpretation of 2018 2D seismic data has led to maturation of prospects in the SL10B13 block, onshore Somaliland. They are analogous to Yemeni rift basin fields. The company will begin a farm-out campaign in Q3 2019. Meanwhile seismic processing is continuing on the Odewayne block further south.
Feb 2019: The Federal Ministry of Petroleum and Mineral Resources is inviting bids for 15 blocks across various basins under a 2019 offshore licensing round. Bids must be received by November and signing of PSAs should follow a month later, involving 3 exploration phases lasting up to 8 years. The blocks on offer extend from north to south, off the south-facing side of Somalia’s coast.
No significant news in 2018.
No significant news in 2017.
Oct 2016: The government announced its first offshore hydrocarbon licensing covering areas off central and southern Somalia but excluding shallow water block concessions signed in 1988 with Shell and ExxonMobil. A new national oil company and regulatory body should be operational in 2017.
May 2016: Spectrum announced the completion of its 2D seismic program offshore south Somalia. A total of 20,583 kms of data has been acquired. Spectrum entered into a Multi-client agreement with the federal government of Somalia in 2015. The new acquisition complements 20,000 kms of existing data acquired in 2014.
Jul 2015: Africa Energy has advised the Puntland State of Somalia of its intention to withdraw from the January 2007 PSA covering the Nugaal and Dharoor Blocks. The Company cited the uncertainty of the political climate in Somalia.
No significant news in 2014.
Oct 2013: Sterling Energy has signed a farmout agreement with Petrosoma for the PSC of the Odewayne Block in the Republic of Somaliland. The holders are now Genel Energy (operator, 50%), Petrosoma (10%), Jacka Resources (30%) and Sterling (10%). The PSC, awarded in 2005, covers Block SL6 and part of Blocks SL7 and SL10 with basins analogous to those in Yemen.
Apr 2013: DNO has entered into a Production Sharing Contract (PSC) covering the 12,000 sq km block SL18 onshore Somaliland. From a regional perspective the geology of Somaliland shows similarities with Yemen and exploration will involve the search for Jurassic rifts with source rocks. DNO holds 100% and plans a seismic program in 2014.
Nov 2012: Genel Energy plans to conduct seismic in NW Somalia in 2013 and drill its first well in 2014 and another well in 2015. Genel has the rights to two blocks, Block 13 and Block 10B, in the Somaliland region. The area is thought to share the same geological structure as Yemen. Somalia must sort out a tangle of overlapping exploration licences issued by the former federal government and the semi-autonomous regions of Puntland and Somaliland.
Oct 2012: Somalia has invited back oil companies that held exploration licences before the civil war. The Ministry of Energy said the country would honour contracts signed prior to 1991 with oil majors, offering onshore and offshore production sharing contracts for blocks in a licensing round early in 2013. Somalia elected a new federal government and inaugurated a president in September, its first government since 1991, prompting hopes that stability would return. It also hopes to resolve a maritime border dispute with Kenya.
Aug 2012: Companies involved in drilling for oil in Puntland, onshore Somalia, confirmed that the Shabeel North well is dry. The well penetrated 140m of interbedded sands and shales of the Triassic Adigrat Formation with no oil or gas shows. The result has written off the prospectivity of both wells in the Shabeel Structure. The well data will be integrated into the existing data set and used to identify the next candidate for the drilling program on the Nugaal block.