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Turkey and Somalia to begin offshore oil drilling in 2025 following energy deal

Friday April 19, 2024

Turkish Energy and Natural Resources Minister Alparslan Bayraktar - (CREDIT: NTV)

Mogadishu (HOL) — Türkiye is poised to embark on a significant offshore oil exploration venture in Somalia, planning to commence deep-sea drilling in 2025, Turkish Energy and Natural Resources Minister Alparslan Bayraktar announced on Friday. This initiative follows a strategic bilateral agreement to bolster their partnership through energy development.

Building on last month's offshore oil and natural gas agreement, Türkiye and Somalia are now poised to develop Somalia's abundant oil reserves. The deal includes the exploration, exploitation, development and production of oil on "Somalia's onshore and offshore blocks." Minister Bayraktar outlined a clear timeline, stating, "We will commence seismic work next year, and our aim is to conduct deep-sea drilling by 2025." 

The relationship between the two nations has strengthened significantly, highlighted by a defence pact and increased trade, with bilateral trade volume reaching $250.85 million in 2019. Turkish firms also manage significant infrastructure in Somalia, such as Mogadishu International Airport and Mogadishu Sea Port, showcasing their deepening ties.

The energy and security agreements were signed against the backdrop of Somalia's dispute with Somaliland and Ethiopia, and they are intended to deter Ethiopia's efforts to secure access to the sea via the breakaway Somaliland.

In addition to its plans in Somalia, Türkiye continues to expand its domestic energy capabilities. "This year, we plan to drill 140 wells in areas including Hakkari and Van," Bayraktar revealed. The minister hoped these efforts would yield new reserves, bolstering Türkiye's energy independence.

Turkey has been a significant partner of Somalia since 2011, when then-Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan visited during a deadly famine. Since then, Turkey has provided Somalia with humanitarian aid and budgetary assistance. 

In September 2017, Turkey established a large military facility to train Somali security forces. 


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