"Somalia has no proven oil reserves, and only 200 billion cubic feet of proven natural gas reserves. Somalia currently has no hydrocarbon production. Oil seeps were first identified by Italian and British geologists during the colonial era. Exploration activities were focused in northern Somalia, and several foreign firms, including Agip, Amoco, Chevron, Conoco and Phillips, held concessions in the area. The firms all declared force majeure following the collapse of the central government."
Four giant US oil companies stand to make a killing in Somalia if US troops can pacify the strategic African nation, the Los Angeles Times has revealed. The report further undermines US claims that the invasion was a “humanitarian mission” rather than one to defend US military and economic interests in the region.
The report, which appeared on January 18, revealed that almost two-thirds of Somalia was allocated to the oil giants Conoco, Amoco, Chevron and Phillips by the pro-US dictator Mohamed Siad Barre. Barre was overthrown in January 1991.
It seems a significant motive behind the decision of US President George Bush, a former Texas oil magnate, to send troops to Somalia may have been protecting the oil industry's multimillion-dollar investments there.
United Press International reported soon after: “Throughout the course of his 17,000-mile trip, Bush suggested continued low [oil] prices would jeopardise a domestic oil industry `vital to the national security interests of the United States', which was interpreted at home and abroad as a sign the one-time oil driller from Texas was coming to the aid of his former associates”.
Since the US invasion of Somalia on December 9 little has been said in public about Somalia's potential for oil and natural gas production.
Based on published and unpublished data, the geology of these basins proves that oil and gas have been generated with favorable reservoirs, as well as structural and stratigraphic traps. Moreover, continuation of these basins across the gulf, matching the hydrocarbon-producing Marib-Hajar and Say'un-Al Masila basins of Yemen, raises the hydrocarbon prospect of northern Somalia.
(Rated by 8 Council Members)