Selling Somalia OIL Block in Turkey will Lead Somalia to a civil war.

Reading Time: 2 minutes

People across the world are advised against all non-essential travel to Turkey, based on the current assessment of COVID-19 risks in the country, but the Abdirashid Ahmed, Minister of Petroleum and Ibrahim Hussein, CEO of Somali Petroleum Authority, and Ahmed Hashi, Director General of the Ministry Petroleum are presently in Istanbul hammering oil block deals between Somalia and Liberty Petroleum State of Arizona registered Company founded by controversial former US Congressman Trent Franks and old Scycamore Management Limited (previously known as Soma Oil).

Liberty is expecting to secure 2 blocks while Soma Oil is expecting to get 6 blocks. Latest IMF report states that ‘Drafting of the Extractive Industry Tax law (EIT; HIPC CPT) and revised model Petroleum Sharing Agreement (PSA) has progressed, and the authorities have committed to having a coherent framework comprising Petroleum Act, model PSA and EIT law in place before issuing any licenses. This will require further work on the PSA and EIT law to reflect staff comments and ensure their consistency.

Despite this commitment, the Ministry is awarding blocks to these companies who have questionable history and capacity. Soma Oil was incorporated on 26 April 20132 .

Soma’s last annual report shows the financial position of the company. It reads ‘As at the 31 August 2019 the Group had a cash balance of US$ 276, 462.’ Yet the company wants to pursue oil and gas exploration in Somalia. Liberty Petroleum Corporation is a is an oil & energy company based in USA.

About 5 years ago ‘Liberia put four offshore oil blocks up for bidding at the height of Liberia’s Ebola outbreak, which by December 2014 had killed at least 3,290 people. On 18 December the first, and so far only, of these contracts was finalised. Block 16 was awarded to US-based Liberty Petroleum.3 Is this pure coincidence that Liberty Petroleum got an oil block during Ebola and now wants to get oil blocks during COVID19.

The Ministry chose Turkey to cover as a meeting point since the Somali people love the people and the government of Turkey. Furthermore, to convince the Somali people, Liberty has partnered with a Turkish company. The current government’s constitutional four-year term is coming to an end soon, moreover, the oil price is exceptionally low. The country prepares for elections. What are the circumstances of these men selling Somalia oil blocks? The money from these blocks can be used to finance the upcoming elections.

The Production Sharing Agreement that the Ministry want to sign makes that point clear ‘A signature bonus in the amount of US dollars [$2000,000,Two Millions US Dollars] shall be paid by the Contractor to the Ministry promptly upon execution of the Agreement by the Parties.