Somalia Govt jockeys for wider influence in oil deals
MOGADISHU, Somalia, December 19, 2015 (Garowe Online)-Somalia’s Federal Government [SFG] is planning to gobble authority of regional administrations in oil deals with commercial oil exploration companies, Garowe Online has learned.
Ministry of Petroleum and Mineral Resources has gathered regional administrations on the sidelines of Mogadishu National Consultative Forum, presenting intra-national sharing agreement to be based on onshore and offshore acquisition by oil and gas companies.
As Mogadishu-based federal government is working on first-ever petroleum bill, western commercial oil exploration companies preconditioned any operational activity and further expenditures on viable resolution to natural resources battle brewings between the national government and Federal Member States.
British Oil Company, Soma Oil and Gas that faced probe for transferring payment totaling $490,000 to senior civil servants at Somalia Petroleum and Mineral Resources Ministry in August handed over seismic data to Somalia government this month.
In September, Somali government signed agreement with Multi-Client seismic survey company, Spectrum ASA which will acquire approximately 28,000km of seismic data offshore south Somalia. Spectrum entered into another subcontract with China National Petroleum Corporation in an alarming twist.
Insiders tell Garowe Online that a meeting between Somalia Government and Puntland, Jubaland, Galmudug and Southwest State ended in failure after Mogadishu displayed a scheme giving it 60% of onshore acreage production sharing agreement and 80 pc offshore.
The move was protested by regional administrations, in turn calling for review into oil and gas concessions.
Federal Member States would get a lower percentage amounting to 40 pc and 20 pc for production sharing agreements of blocks to be licensed both onshore and offshore respectively.
Meanwhile, Puntland president is seeking to exercise substantial autonomy in accordance with Puntland and Provisional Federal Constitutions.
Some analysts say, federal government officials could be planning to trick western commercial oil exploration companies into National Consultative Forum [NCF] ahead of 2016 elections.