Canadian firm starts oil exploration in Somalia

Jan 18, 2012 12:00 AM

A Canadian oil company says it has begun drilling exploratory oil wells at two locations in Somalia's impoverished region of Puntland.
Canada's Horn Petroleum Corporation, a unit of Africa Oil, said that it is "pleased to announce the spudding of the Shabeel-1 well on the Dharoor Block in Puntland, Somalia... operations have also commenced on the Shabeel North-1 well."

The drilling is expected to take about three months and that the recoverable oil is estimated at around 300 mm barrels, the Vancouver-based company said.
During a ceremony, Puntland President Abdirahman Mohamed Farole said the well drilling was "a big day for the people of Puntland and Somalia in general".

"We will be no longer begging people for resources after the drilling of the oil wells," he said.
"Our young educated men and women will not suffer unemployment, everyone including ordinary labourers will have their opportunity," Farole went on to say.

The wells are the first to be sunk in the war-torn country since civil war erupted two decades ago. Somalia has been without a functioning government since 1991, when warlords overthrew former dictator Mohamed Siad Barre.
Strategically located in the Horn of Africa, Somalia is one of the countries generating the highest number of refugees and internally displaced people in the world.

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