Somalia parliament passes controversial petroleum bill
MOGADISHU, Somalia – Somali Parliament has on Monday passed a new petroleum bill that creates a regulatory and legal framework to manage discoveries and control of its natural gas reserves, Garowe Online reports.
The law gives the government “green light” to give oil exploration licenses by the end of 2019.
During Today’s session, 150 lawmakers in the House of the People have overwhelmingly voted in favor of the bill, and 4 rejected by show of hand, according to the deputy assembly speaker, Abdiweli Mudey.
The approval of the act comes as Somali government and the Federal Member States are in deadlock over the fair share of the country’s natural resources, mainly the potential oil and gas.
The Petroleum law is a revised version of the 2008 regulation.
The long-chaotic Horn of Africa country is gearing for its first post-civil war oil drilling licensing rounds following completion of seismic surveys by an exploration company, Spectrum.
Last February, the firm hosted an international oil conference in London, presenting the results of its seismic surveys and showcased possible locations in the country, where oil reserves can be extracted in the future.
The oil exploration is already creating problems among Somalis, even before it is being extracted from the ground, and sparked a diplomatic crisis with neighboring Kenya.