Thu. Apr 18th, 2024

Türkiye and Somalia strengthen ties through an energy exploration deal, targeting hydrocarbon reserves in Somali waters, following recent defense agreements between the two countries
Ankara, Mogadishu sign exploration, drilling agreement in Somalia exclusive economic zone

Türkiye and Somalia have signed an energy exploration and drilling agreement, deepening their bilateral relations following a recent defense deal.

The agreement focuses on tapping into hydrocarbon reserves in Somalia’s exclusive economic zone, which has remained untapped since the collapse of the Somali government in the early 1990s.

Additionally, the deal includes provisions for land exploration.

Energy Minister Alparslan Bayraktar signed the agreement in Istanbul and Somali Petroleum and Mineral Resources Minister Abdirizak Omar Mohamed.

This move comes after Ethiopia signed a similar agreement in January, granting it access to naval and commercial facilities along Somaliland’s coast in exchange for recognizing the region’s independence.

In response, Türkiye signed a comprehensive naval defense deal with Somalia last month, giving Ankara the mandate to protect Somali sea waters against terrorism, piracy, and any external threats that could violate Somali state rights for the next decade.

This “historic” agreement reportedly also gives Türkiye the authority to develop Somalia’s maritime resources in its exclusive economic zone.

Türkiye’s involvement in offshore energy exploration dates back to its discovery of gas in the Black Sea in 2020.

Ankara is developing and integrating this gas into its domestic consumption network.

According to U.S. government reports, Somalia is estimated to possess around 30 billion barrels of oil and gas reserves.

However, the country requires substantial investment, which experts suggest could take three to five years to materialize.

An expert who spoke to Middle East Eye estimated that Türkiye might need to invest up to half a billion dollars to complete exploration and successful drilling operations in Somali waters.

Further development of gas or oil resources would likely cost several billion dollars.

By Joy

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