Turkey to start drilling oil in Somalia


ANKARA - The government of Turkey is set to commence drilling of oil from next year in Somalia, in what could double economic fortunes of the Horn of Africa nation, which has struggled with insecurity for the last three decades since the removal of Siad Barre.

Somalia's energy minister Alparslan Bayraktar said deep sea drilling in the country will kick off soon, adding that 'this will solve our tradition social-economic challenges ' which have been affecting the country since independence.

Turkiye and Somalia signed an offshore oil and natural gas cooperation deal last month, further strengthening ties after agreeing a defence deal this year. The deal was accompanied by maritime agreement that caused jitters in the Horn of Africa..

Turkey's Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced that bilateral trade volume with Somalia reached $187.3 million in 2018 and $250.85 million in 2019. Ankara has been a major security and development partner of Mogadishu.

The total value of Turkish investments in Somalia has reached $100 million, while Mogadishu International Airport and Mogadishu Sea Port are both run by Turkish companies in Somalia. The recent maritime agreement is set to protect Somalia from Ethiopia’s impending aggression..

The deal, sources said, irked the United Arab Emirates (UAE), which had signed a similar agreement with Somalia, leading to misunderstanding. President Hassan Sheikh recently visited Saudi Arabia where he sent emissaries to solve the outstanding issues.

Somalia's maritime oil reserves are on the verge of exploration in recent times, with the country also managing to win an international case against Kenya following a dispute over ownership of Indian Ocean maritime oil deposits. The resources are projected to economically assist the country to stabilise.


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