Somalia says oil tenders open to all following Erdoğan’s expression of interest

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Somalia’s offering of offshore oil exploration tenders will be open to all, the country’s Petroleum and Mineral Resources minister said on Tuesday, a day after Ankara announced its eagerness to participate in exploration in the region.

While Somalia enjoys good relations with Turkey, the country’s oil operations will be transparent and without favoritism toward any particular company or country, Bloomberg quoted Abdirashid Mohamed Ahmed as saying on Somalia National Television.

There is “work to be done” before exploration begins, Ahmed added.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Monday said Somalia had invited Turkey to explore for oil in its seas after Turkey signed a maritime deal with Libya’s U.N.-recognised government last year.

“There is an offer from Somalia. They are saying: ‘There is oil in our seas. You are carrying out these operations with Libya, but you can also do them here.’ This is very important for us,” Erdoğan said.

On Nov. 27, Turkey and Libya’s internationally recognised government signed two memoranda of understanding, one on maritime boundaries in the Mediterranean Sea and a second on expanded security and military cooperation.

Turkey since 2011, has provided aid to Somalia with Ankara initiating development projects, opening schools, and training Somali soldiers as part of efforts to build up the war-torn country’s army.