Author Topic: Somali peace, Somalia oil  (Read 1150 times)

Cain

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Somali peace, Somalia oil
« on: February 27, 2012, 08:04:57 am »
So, there has been a lot of talk among the foreign policy commentariat, think tanks, NGOs etc over the talks held in London with Somali groups seeking peace in the country over the last couple of weeks.

Why the sudden focus on Somali peace, you may wonder, especially when previous efforts in Somalia have either been to support foreign invasion or else simply to contain the threat it presents in terms of piracy and terrorism.

Well, as the thread title suggests...

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/feb/25/britain-oil-dash-somalia

Quote
Britain is involved in a secret high-stakes dash for oil in Somalia, with the government offering humanitarian aid and security assistance in the hope of a stake in the beleaguered country's future energy industry.

Riven by two decades of conflict that have seen the emergence of a dangerous Islamic insurgency, Somalia is routinely described as the world's most comprehensively "failed" state, as well as one of its poorest. Its coastline has become a haven for pirates preying on international shipping in the Indian Ocean.

David Cameron last week hosted an international conference on Somalia, pledging more aid, financial help and measures to tackle terrorism. The summit followed a surprise visit by the foreign secretary, William Hague, to Mogadishu, the Somali capital, where he talked about "the beginnings of an opportunity'' to rebuild the country.

The Observer can reveal that, away from the public focus of last week's summit, talks are going on between British officials and Somali counterparts over exploiting oil reserves that have been explored in the arid north-eastern region of the country. Abdulkadir Abdi Hashi, minister for international cooperation in Puntland, north-east Somalia – where the first oil is expected to be extracted next month – said: "We have spoken to a number of UK officials, some have offered to help us with the future management of oil revenues. They will help us build our capacity to maximise future earnings from the oil industry."

British involvement in the future Somali oil industry would be a boon for the UK economy and comes at a time when the world is increasingly concerned about the actions of Iran, the second-biggest oil producer in Opec.

Hashi, in charge of brokering deals for the region's oil reserves, also said Somalia was looking to BP as the partner they wanted to "help us explore and build our oil capacity". He added: "We need those with the necessary technical knowhow, we plan to talk to BP at the right time."

Somali prime minister Abdiweli Mohamed Ali said his government had little choice but to entice western companies to Somalia by offering a slice of the country's natural resources, which include oil, gas and large reserves of uranium. "The only way we can pay [western companies] is to pay them in kind, we can pay with natural resources at the fair market value."

Britain is not the only country looking to develop Somalia's vast natural resources. Last month oil exploration began in Puntland by the Canadian company Africa Oil, the first drilling in Somalia for 21 years. Hashi, who sealed the Africa Oil deal, said the first oil was expected to be extracted within the next "20 to 30 days".

The company estimates there could be up to 4bn barrels (about $500bn worth at today's prices) in its two drilling plots. Other surveys indicate that Puntland province alone has the potential to yield 10bn barrels, placing it among the top 20 countries holding oil. Chinese and US firms are among those understood to have also voiced interest about the potential for oil now that, for the first time in 20 years, the country is safe enough to drill.

Yet it is the extent of oil deposits beneath the Indian Ocean that is most exciting Somali officials. One said the potential was comparable to that of Kuwait, which has more than 100bn barrels of proven oil reserves. If true, the deposits would eclipse Nigeria's reserves – 37.2bn barrels – and make Somalia the seventh largest oil-rich nation.

So yeah.

Salty

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Re: Somali peace, Somalia oil
« Reply #1 on: February 27, 2012, 08:15:56 am »
If you're tired of the pirate life and want the crisp, refreshing taste of peace, diplomacy, and maybe even some decent infrastructure, you only need to pay endless installments of natural resources!

It's like paying rent.
Why didn't they get on board with this sooner?
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BabylonHoruv

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Re: Somali peace, Somalia oil
« Reply #2 on: February 29, 2012, 07:36:37 pm »
I predict the pirates will start bunkering and preying on the oil companies, Ala MEND, although only if they can pull together a bit and get more organized than they currently are.
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Re: Somali peace, Somalia oil
« Reply #3 on: March 01, 2012, 05:51:21 am »
Oh jesus fuck. :(
“I’m guessing it was January 2007, a meeting in Bethesda, we got a bag of bees and just started smashing them on the desk,” Charles Wick said. “It was very complicated.”