Oil and Gas Agreement Signed with Somalia
06 August 2013
Soma Oil & Gas Exploration Limited announces that it has signed an agreement with the Government of the Federal Republic of Somalia to assist in the development of the country’s hydrocarbons sector. This represents the first agreement in Somalia’s oil and gas industry since the election of President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud and the appointment of an internationally recognized Government in 2012 following decades of civil war.
Under the terms of the agreement, Soma Oil & Gas will conduct seismic surveying in Somalia’s territorial waters in areas agreed with the Government and in certain limited onshore areas. The Company will also collate and reprocess historic seismic data using modern techniques, and prepare an evaluation of Somalia’s petroleum potential. Soma Oil & Gas will create a data room for the Somali Government, into which all available data will be placed.
The survey that Soma Oil & Gas conducts will give it the right to nominate and obtain exploration and drilling rights under Production Sharing Agreements for prospective areas.
Prior to 1991 a number of International Oil Companies were granted licences in the country, which, according to oil industry experts has some of the largest prospective resources within East Africa, an area of already great industry interest.
Soma Oil & Gas was founded earlier this year expressly with a view to exploring in Somalia. Chief Executive, Robert Sheppard, a former senior executive of BP, Amoco and Sidanco, with over 40 years’ experience in the industry, joined the Company in May. Lord Howard of Lympne, former British Home Secretary and Leader of the Conservative Party, is the Company’s Chairman.
Robert Sheppard, CEO of Soma Oil & Gas, said:
“We formed Soma Oil & Gas having identified an opportunity to conduct exploration in Somalia as it emerges from a lengthy period of civil conflict. Despite large recent discoveries in East Africa, Somalia remains a significantly underexplored region. We believe that this agreement to assist the Government and the work that is due to be carried out over the next 12-18 months will provide significant momentum for the oil and gas sector in Somalia.”
Lord Howard of Lympne, Chairman of Soma Oil & Gas, said:
“This agreement reflects the close collaboration between the UK and Somalia and it is our intention to assist Somalia to develop an active hydrocarbons sector that will attract significant foreign investment to the country. We intend that Soma Oil & Gas’ commitment in Somalia will boost the local economy and generate new opportunities for employment for Somali nationals.”
For further information please contact:
Oliver Winters, Sara Powell +44 (0)20 7269 7183
Chairman – The Rt Honourable Lord Howard of Lympne, CH, QC
Lord Howard has been Chairman of Soma Oil & Gas Exploration Limited since May 2013. He is the former leader of the Conservative Party in Britain, a distinguished lawyer, and served as a Member of Parliament in Britain for 27 years. He filled many government posts, including Home Secretary, Secretary of State for Employment and Secretary of State for the Environment, as well as Shadow Foreign Secretary and Shadow Chancellor. After his retirement from the House of Commons at the 2010 General Election, Lord Howard was created a Life Peer. He was created a Companion of Honour in the Queen's Birthday Honours List, 2011. Lord Howard is Non-Executive Chairman of Entree Gold Inc, Arena Racing Corporation Limited and Luup Limited. He sits on the Advisory Boards of Orca Exploration Inc and Tetronics Limited and is Senior Adviser to Cannacord Genuity Limited.
Chief Executive Officer – Robert Sheppard
Mr. Sheppard founded and serves as Chairman of the consulting company, IPM Advisors. He is a Non-Executive Director of the Blackrock Emerging Europe Trust and is a Director of DTEK Holding BV, the largest private energy company in the Ukraine. Mr. Sheppard is also a senior advisor to BP on Russia and the Former Soviet Union. He served on the Board of TNK-BP until 2008 and was CEO of Sidanco prior to the merger that created TNK-BP. In his 40 plus years in the energy business, Mr. Sheppard has been the President of Amoco’s operations in Argentina and Egypt as well as Managing Director of GUPCO (Gulf of Suez Petroleum Company) and was Amoco’s Vice President for the UK North Sea in the late 80s. Mr. Sheppard graduated from the University of Wyoming in 1972 and has a Bachelor’s degree in Physics and Mathematics. He graduated from the Columbia University Business School in 1991 with an Executive MBA degree.