Somaliland is situated on the eastern horn of Africa and lies between the 08°00' - 11°30' parallel north of the equator and between 42°30' - 49°00' meridian east of the Greenwich. It shares borders with Republic of Djibouti to the west, Federal Republic of Ethiopia to the south and Somalia to the east. Somaliland has a coastal line to the north of the country which extends 850 km along the Gulf Sea.
Somaliland is one of the few highly potential yet under-explored areas in the globe. The existence of oil and gas in Somaliland was known since the beginning of the last century, through oil seepages in several parts of the country and it is only the finding of the big structures and the discovery of commercial accumulations that has so far eluded the limited and intermitted exploration and the small number drilling over that length of time, The Ministry of Energy and Minerals formulated and facilitated a multi-client 2D seismic project in which it presented to all the international oil companies which have production sharing agreements with the government. This was an effort by the ministry to enable the IOC’s to fulfill their exploration obligation on a slimmer budget than having to get into separate contracts with seismic contractors
The petroleum exploration interest of the country started in 1912 when an oil seep at Dhagah Shabel, 38 km south-east of Berbera, was reported. In 1959 Standard Vacuum (Mobil and Esso) drilled three wells (Dhagah Shabel-1, -2, and -3) near the Dhagah Shabel oil seep, without the aid of subsurface control. Two of the wells recovered small amount of free oil (33.6 API) from the Wanderer limestone (Upper Jurassic) and Nubian sandstone (Upper Cretaceous). Interest in oil exploration Recommenced in the late 1970s and, in 1980, GECO conducted an extensive offshore speculative seismic survey in the Gulf of Aden for the Somali government.
A speculative offshore survey was conducted as well as 2 offshore exploratory wells drilled by Shell in the mid 1980’s showing oil and gas shows. To present date there have only been 21 wells drilled in Somaliland (19 onshore and two offshore). In addition, modern seismic reflection surveying has had very limited application in Somaliland. Therefore, many prospective petroleum systems in the onshore and offshore regions of the country remain relatively unexplored.
The current scheme of Somaliland oil and gas blocks consist of 24 blocks of both onshore and offshore. Only a quarter of that is presently held by IOC’s that have production sharing agreement with the government. The block system is one degree one block and therefore are huge in size (each about 12,000km2). Many of these blocks have great deal of potentiality and open for investors that have the technical and financial capacity as well as good track record in the industry.
All interested international Oil Companies are invited to come to Somaliland where the Ministry of Energy and Mining is ready to receive them for further negotiations on Oil and Gas concessions.
Somaliland is picking up oil exploration. Therefor we should take this highly profitable opportunity to start purchasing offshore blocks before it is too late as western oil and company are flooding into Somaliland.