East Africa: Embattled Spectrum Clarifies Role On Somalia Oil Blocks

Visitors are taken on a tour of the oil rig at Ngamia 1 in Turkana County (file photo).

The embattled company Spectrum which helped the government organize a Somalia and gas conference now says the London meeting was not an auction of oil fields.

Instead the company says , the Somalia Offshore Round event was hosted to enable interested parties to understand the Somalia Offshore potential from the seismic data, along with the selection of blocks, the legal and fiscal terms, and the bidding conditions.

"The organization of the Offshore Round, the terms and any awards of blocks are managed and decided by the Somali Government", said the company in a press statement. Somalia Oil and Gas Conference was held in London on 7th February 2019. Spectrum Geo assisted the Somali Government in organizing the event.

In the wake of the London meeting, concerns were raised by the opposition parties and members of the public, accusing the company of facilitating governmnet's intention to auction oil and gas blocks without a clear framework.

Spectrum is a Multi-Client Seismic Services company that acquires, processes, and interprets seismic data at its own expense and subsequently licenses the data to interested clients within the oil and gas industry. The clients typically use such data to make their assessment of the hydrocarbon bearing potential of an area.

The Company said that during 2015-2016, in preparation for the Offshore Round, Spectrum completed the acquisition and processing of 20,185 km of 2D long-offset seismic data, under a co-operation agreement with the Federal Government of Somalia. This program is promoted and data is licensed to oil and gas companies by Spectrum on behalf of the Government, with the Government receiving part of the revenues.

The seismic data acquired separately in 2014 was also made available to the Federal Government of Somalia and Spectrum also licenses these data to interested clients on behalf of the Government.

Somalia's Offshore has significant hydrocarbon resource potential and this event marks the start of a process for the Federal Government of Somalia to attract companies to explore and develop these resources in partnership with the Government.

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