Somalia: Ministry of Petroleum and Mineral Resources to Make Major Announcement On 15 Oil Blocks Next Month

Somalia will announce plans in December for its first ever oil and gas licensing round, its oil minister said on Tuesday, as the frontier market looks to attract new investment after decades of civil strife.

The Ministry of Petroleum and Mineral Resources said the minister will announce in December when it plans to launch the bid process in 2020.

"We are presenting up to 15 blocks," Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources Abdirashid Mohamed Ahmed told Reuters on the sidelines of an African oil and gas conference in Cape Town.

He said seismic data commissioned for the government was encouraging and indicated that the 15 blocks could contain around 30 billion barrels of oil.

Ahmed emphasised the new blocks were far from the maritime boundary with Kenya that is currently the subject of a dispute at the International Court of Justice.

He added that international naval blockades had almost totally eradicated offshore piracy at the former hotspot for maritime hijackings.

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