Terms of the Concessions granted to individuals prior to abovementioned were equally as shocking. For example, a man by the name of
Mohamed Yusuf (owner of a new established Company Petro Soma) obtained a concession for block 6, 7 and 10” The size of the block is vast spanning 22,000 km2. He received this concession in spite of the fact that his company never worked in the oil and gas industry and did not have the financial or technical capacity to commercially develop these resources. Unable to develop the concessions, Mohamed Yusuf acted as a broker and sold half of the block’s resources for cash to another company, jacka resources, an Australian Company. But neither Petrosoma nor Jacka Resources could develop the resources. They instead sold half of their shares to an Anglo Turkish company (Genel) with a dubious background. Now Genel is negotiating the sale of their share to cheveron, Total, and Exxon Mobil.
The story of block 18 is repeated in many other blocks, such as Block 6, 7, 10 The country’s resource is under siege by brokers and charlatans eager to make quick profits.
The situation does not have to be this way. Somaliland is rich in oil and mineral resources as evidenced by the keen interest expressed by some of the largest international resource companies like chevron, Total, Exxon Mobil, Conoco and many more. Many exploratory oil wells drilled in 1986 by some of these companies struck vast amounts of crude oil.
Given that Somaliland’s oil was proven and that world demand for oil is far outpacing supply, Somaliland should have the upper hand in oil negotiations with foreign companies. The given could have simply announced that it is opening limited number of blocks for oil prospecting and that it invites bids from all international companies who could fulfill technical and financial qualifications. I am sure the government would have received huge interests from legitimate international companies and would have dictated its terms. It is insane and irresponsible on the part of the government to give huge concessions to unqualified individuals whose only interest is to make quick profit.
The Parliament, the institution with legitimate fiduciary responsibility to safeguard national resources, must resist usurpation of its constitutional powers by an appointed Minister. Otherwise, the limited and nonrenewable oil resources of the nation will be sucked out in a short period leaving future generations impoverished.
By. Arta Abyan