Somalia plans to auction seven oil blocks in August

Somalia said it will launch its offshore licensing rounds in August, offering seven of its offshore oil blocks as Mogadishu seeks to exploit its vast oil resources.

Abdirashid Mohamed Ahmed, Minister for Petroleum and Mineral Resources, invited the companies to start placing their bids from Aug. 4 to March 12, 2021.

“Somalia has achieved significant milestones that will provide predictability, reliability and transparency to the oil and gas companies and investors who are willing to do business with the Somali government,” Ahmed said in a statement issued on Wednesday.

He said the ministry will launch the licensing round virtually due to the COVID-19 pandemic which has brought health restrictions.

He said this year’s licensing round features up to seven blocks that are up for the bidding process which are estimated to be among the most prospective areas for hydrocarbon explorations and production in Somalia.

“This roadshow highlights as a landmark moment in the development of Somalia’s natural resources, which will be transformational for the country’s development,” Ahmed said.

He assured that the process would be fair and transparent for everyone taking part in the licensing round, adding that the revenues generated from oil gas explorations will be used “as the catalyst for a new dynamic, renewable and self-sustainable economy”.

“The opportunities for the international exploration and development majors are enormous. Somalia is committed to attracting investment and promoting partnership and business in all segments of the oil and gas industry value chain,” said the minister.

“This event is the starting point to allow the Somali Government to better showcase the vision that our country has for our petroleum and gas industry to potential foreign investors,” he added.

In March, the ministry agreed an initial road map with a Shell and ExxonMobil joint venture for exploration and development of offshore Somalia.

The roadmap was focused on converting concessions struck many years ago into new production-sharing agreements in accordance with the recently signed Petroleum Law.