Oil Prospects In Somalia

   Here is an interesting collection of reports from Somalia Watch, which describe why Somalia could be the next major oil producer in the world. Based upon UN reports and early oil exploration activities Somalia could be the next Uganda which recently found oil. Somalia is a largely unexplored area due to ongoing civil wars and political chaos. But times have changed, especially in the Northern Region called Puntland which is a self-governing area independent of the central government. This is where Somalia's two major basins are located and where previous exploration activities were carried out by major oil companies before the beginning of the civil war. When it comes to current investment opportunities there is a company called Africa Oil Corp, which owns the largest land package in Somalia and is scheduled to drill its first exploratory well in the 4th quarter of 2010. I have an article about Africa Oil Corp Here. When it comes to oil exploration Somalia is currently under the radar to investors, but that may soon change in the next 9 months.

Here are a few key excerpts:

Geology of Somalia

The sedimentary cover of Northern Somalia includes post-Triassic continental and marine strata which accumulated in basins related to the disintegration of the Gondwanaland. Among these, the Berbera and Ahl Mado basins are the most important basins stratigraphically and hydrocarbon potential. Sedimentation in both basins begins with a Jurassic continental sandstone (Adigrat Formation) overlain by interbedded units of shallow marine limestones and shales (Bihendula sequence) in the Berbera Basin, and limestone-dominated strata with minor shale and sandstone interbeds (Ahl Mado Group) in the Ahl Mado Basin. The Cretaceous section, unconformable with the Jurassic sequence, is mainly continental (Yesomma Sandstone) in the Berbera Basin, but becomes shallow-marine, sandy to pure limestone with subordinate sandstone and shale (Tisje Formation) in the Ahl Mado Basin. By the end of the Cretaceous Period, a westward marine transgression permitted shallow-marine, Paleocene - lower Eocene limestone (Auradu Formation) deposition throughout northern Somalia. This is succeeded by thick anhydrite strata (Taleh Formation) overlain by Middle to Late Eocene shallow-marine limestone (Karkar Formation). The later is the youngest stratigraphic unit straddling the Gulf of Aden. Younger strata of syn- and post-rifting, continental to shallow-marine origin are confined in discrete basins along the coast of the gulf.

Based on published and unpublished data, the geology of these basins proves that oil and gas have been generated with favorable reservoirs, as well as structural and stratigraphic traps. Moreover, continuation of these basins across the gulf, matching the hydrocarbon-producing Marib-Hajar and Say'un-Al Masila basins of Yemen, raises the hydrocarbon prospect of northern Somalia.

Past Exploration

Although most oil experts outside Somalia laugh at the suggestion that the nation ever could rank among the world's major oil producers -- and most maintain that the international aid mission is intended simply to feed Somalia's starving masses -- no one doubts that there is oil in Somalia. The only question: How much?

"It's there. There's no doubt there's oil there," said Thomas E. O'Connor, the principal petroleum engineer for the World Bank, who headed an in-depth, three-year study of oil prospects in the Gulf of Aden off Somalia's northern coast.

"You don't know until you study a lot further just how much is there," O'Connor said. "But it has commercial potential. It's got high potential . . . once the Somalis get their act together."

O'Connor, a professional geologist, based his conclusion on the findings of some of the world's top petroleum geologists. In a 1991 World Bank-coordinated study, intended to encourage private investment in the petroleum potential of eight African nations, the geologists put Somalia and Sudan at the top of the list of prospective commercial oil producers.

Presenting their results during a three-day conference in London in September, 1991, two of those geologists, an American and an Egyptian, reported that an analysis of nine exploratory wells drilled in Somalia indicated that the region is "situated within the oil window, and thus (is) highly prospective for gas and oil." A report by a third geologist, Z. R. Beydoun, said offshore sites possess "the geological parameters conducive to the generation, expulsion and trapping of significant amounts of oil and gas."

UN Study

In an attempt to address the balance and provide a more considered view of petroleum potential, the World Bank and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) devised a regional hydrocarbon study of the countries bordering the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden. Financed by the UNDP, in co-operation with the governments of France, Britain and Canada, and several oil companies, the study began work in 1988. All the countries along this coastline participated from the outset, although Saudi Arabia has since dropped out, claiming it has its own plans for Red Sea exploration.

The study managed to collect all relevant technical information from both Ethiopia and Somalia before this year's fighting broke out. Results of analysis to date, which indicate that the region is definitely oil-prone as well as gas-prone, are to be presented at this month's meeting of the American Association of Petroleum Geologists, Eastern Hemisphere group, in London.

The full set of documents and articles is available at : http://www.somaliawatch.org/archivejuly/000922601.htm

Black Swan Insights



  1. All you Superman lovers need to remember that Superman, no
    matter how strong he is, will get no stronger. You keep forgetting Doomsday killed him and he struggles with
    Darkseid all of the time. All I need to say is when have you seen the
    Hulk die? Case closed, even if Supes is winning The
    Hulk just demands to get madder. Hulk wins 100% from the time.

    Here is my web site - top 10 tips to stop premature ejaculation

    1. Their may be oil in places like somalia but its hard to work the fields in a country thats having a civil war.