Somali Petroleum and Mineral Resources Minister Abdirashid Mohamed Ahmed said Tuesday the country’s oil operations will be transparent and without favoritism toward a company or country.
Speaking to Somali National News Agency, Ahmed said Somalia has a good relationship with Turkey but the minister did not rebuke or agree the comments by Turkish President Rajab Tayyip Erdogan.
“There is work to be done before exploration begins, when the plans are completed, the oil tenders will be one,” he said.
Last Monday, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Somalia invited Turkey to explore oil off Somalia coast.
The Horn of Africa nation’s invitation came in the wake of the announcement that two Turkish ships were expected to start exploration off the Libyan coast.
“They told us: We have oil in our seas. You’re carrying out operations in Libya but you can also do the same here. We have an offer from Somalia,” Erdogan told reporters on his flight back from the Libya summit in Berlin.
Erdogan stated that his country is keen on a call to participate.
The remarks of Erdogan comes barely two weeks after Somali parliament approved petroleum bill.
The new legislation allows for the creation of institutions to oversee the sector and for revenue sharing between the central government and federal states, among other objectives.
The legislation still needs to be signed by the president before it can come into effect.
Somalia is a nation rich in hydrocarbons. Geological structures indicate that the potential is at least as significant as neighbouring basins located in Seychelles, Madagascar, Kenya, Tanzania and Mozambique.
Somalia has embarked on its path to transform its petroleum industry and attract the attention of new investors. Significant progress has been made in recent years.
Early last year Somalia began preliminary preparations for a licensing round for 15 exploration blocks covering a total of 75,000 square kilometres, according to the statement.
The country is currently on an international roadshow to showcase the exploration opportunities available in its hydrocarbons sector.