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Somalia has invited Turkey to carry out offshore oil exploration works in the territorial waters of the African country, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Monday, as reported by broadcaster NTV.
Turkey has an offer from Somalia, which says that Ankara can conduct oil exploration the way it has agreed to do with Libya in the eastern Mediterranean, Erdogan said.
“Therefore, there will be steps that we will take in our operations there,” NTV quoted the Turkish president as saying, as carried by Reuters.
Turkey has been giving aid to Somalia since 2011, following a famine in the African country, as Ankara aims to increase its influence in and around the Horn of Africa where Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) are also vying for influence.
Somalia is not an oil producer, but seismic studies have shown that there could be a lot of oil and gas resources in its offshore.
Earlier this month, Somalia’s Parliament passed a new petroleum law, paving the way for completing the regulatory framework for oil and gas exploration in the African country. Somalia hopes the new law and the revenue sharing framework will attract oil majors to exploring for oil in its waters.
A possible joint exploration deal between Turkey and Somalia would come after an agreement between Turkey and Libya from late last year, which enraged Turkey’s Mediterranean neighbors, Greece and Cyprus.
Turkey signed at the end of last year a maritime agreement with Libya’s UN-recognized Government of National Accord (GNA) to set up an exclusive economic zone from Turkey’s southern coast to Libya’s northeast shores. The deal, also aimed at “sharing resources”, drew harsh criticism from Greece and Cyprus who fear a resource grab from Turkey in the Mediterranean.
Earlier this month, Erdogan said that Turkey and Libya could use the services of international companies for their joint oil and gas exploration plans in the Mediterranean.
By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com
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Tsvetana is a writer for Oilprice.com with over a decade of experience writing for news outlets such as iNVEZZ and SeeNews.