Somalia’s Puntland to address Oil law.


Puntland Somalia

Halkaan ka akhri

The president of Somalia’s Puntland State has called for an extraordinary parliamentary session, addressing controversial oil law issues.

According to an MP, the Puntland leader Gen. Mohamud “Adde” Muse introduced a bill, “The Oil and Minerals Law of Puntland State Government”, which he expects lawmakers to debate and ratify so that foreign firms can begin drilling in the region.

There are deep divisions within parliament regarding the new oil law, which some lawmakers see as illegal, since only the Somali federal government has the constitutional authority to sign international agreements.

The sources point to previous agreements lawmakers passed without much debate, including Muse’s 2005 exploration deal that awarded Australian junior explorer Range Resources, Ltd., a huge chunk of Somali territory.

Range and its farm-in partner, Canada-based Africa Oil, issued a press release last month detailing drilling plans in Puntland, which the companies hope to begin by August.

Observers say there are significant obstacles in front of Africa Oil’s push to explore Puntland’s unproven oil reserves, including opposition from local armed clans and the federal government in Mogadishu.


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