A Good Deal for Somalia

Soma Oil and Gas chief executive Bob Sheppard

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Regarding the article “Report Questions Dealings of Firm Led by British Lord” by Justin Scheck and Jenny Gross (News, Aug. 27), when the federal government of Somalia sought a resumption of oil and gas activity in 2013, all 12 international oil companies holding Somali licenses had declared force majeure as a result of the civil war. In total, the government approached more than 20 oil companies, but none were interested in operating in Somalia at that time.

In contrast, Soma Oil & Gas signed its seismic option agreement with the government in August 2013 and has since spent more than $41 million pursuing its exploration program. We have completed the processing of the 2-D seismic data acquired last year and we are in the process of making this available to the federal government.

As a direct result of Soma’s exploration program, we have seen transformational progress in the oil and gas sector in Somalia, with other companies discussing a resumption of operations in the country.


Bob Sheppard

CEO, Soma Oil & Gas

London

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