Turkey, Somalia Announce Agreement to Explore for Oil and Gas

Somalia and Turkey have announced the signing of a deal to explore for oil and gas that further strengthens cooperation between the two countries, according to officials from both countries.

Under the agreement signed Thursday in Turkey, the deal is to promote the development of bilateral, scientific, technical and commercial cooperation between Turkey and Somalia in developing the oil and gas of Somalia, according to Somali Petroleum and Mineral Resources Minister Abdirizak Mohamed.

Mohamed said Turkey will explore for oil and gas in Somalia, both onshore and offshore.

“The Turkish will do the exploration, appraisal and development and production of petroleum from onshore and offshore blocks of the Federal Republic of Somalia as well as distribution, and maybe a refinery sale of petroleum and its product and service operations related to these projects,” Mohamed told VOA Somali.

“So, it’s very comprehensive though we haven’t signed the PSA [production-sharing agreement] yet.”

Mohamed said the deal is one of the protocols of the Defense and Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement reached by the two countries last month.

Under that agreement, which will last for 10 years, Turkey will build, train and equip the Somali navy, according to Somali Prime Minister Hamza Abdi Barre.

Mohamed said a follow-up agreement will contain details of the production-sharing agreement, as well as the timeline for the deal.

Turkish Energy and Natural Resources Minister Alparslan Bayraktar also welcomed the agreement.

“We signed an intergovernmental agreement and memorandum of understanding with Mr. Abdirizak Omar Mohamed, Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources of Somalia, to enhance our cooperation in the field of oil and natural gas in Somalia’s onshore and offshore blocks,” he posted on X. formerly known as Twitter.

“With this agreement, we will carry out joint activities to bring the resources of Somalia to the Somali people. We aim to strengthen Turkey’s presence in the Horn of Africa with new collaborations in the field of energy.”

Turkey has been a major partner of Somalia since 2011 when then-Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan visited Somalia at the height of a deadly famine. Since then, Turkey has been helping Somalia with humanitarian assistance and budgetary support.

In September 2017, Turkey opened a large military facility to train Somali security forces. The newest group graduated from the facility Thursday.

“Turkey is one of our allies, it’s one of our friends, they have been in Somalia at a time when every other country has neglected and has not given any support,” Mohamed said. “So this agreement only deepens and enhances the deep relationship between the two countries.”

Source: VOA

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