Somaliland extends bid round for hydrocarbon exploration

The Somaliland Ministry of Water and Mineral Resources says the country’s first bid round for hydrocarbon concessions has been extended by three months.

Offshore staff

HARGEISA, Somaliland--The Somaliland Ministry of Water and Mineral Resources says the country’s first bid round for hydrocarbon concessions has been extended by three months. The deadline for final submission of bids now is Dec. 15, 2009, with concessions to be awarded March 15, 2010.

The bid round includes eight blocks comprised of more than 89,624 sq km (34,604 sq mi) of onshore and offshore areas. The bid round originally was scheduled to finalize and award bids in August and December, respectively.

The geology off the coast of Somaliland is analogous to the oil-producing basins in nearby Yemen that have yielded several discoveries to date. Yemen’s Balhaf Graben basin and Somaliland’s Berbera basin contain striking similarities in fault trends and structural complexity. Additional indicators of hydrocarbon reserve potential are the naturally occurring oil and gas seeps at Dagah Shabel, and most historical wells in the area contain multiple zones with shows of oil and/or gas.

In preparation for the Somaliland licensing round, TGS-NOPEC Geophysical Company ASA (TGS) acquired 5,300 km (3,293 mi) of seismic, gravity, and magnetic data in the offshore areas and 34,700 km (21,562 mi) of high resolution aeromagnetic data covering all known petroleum basins. The surveys mark the first new geophysical data acquired in the area in almost 30 years. Data acquisition was completed in 2007-2008, and TGS used this data along with existing well logs and interpreted data to create comprehensive interpretation reports for the Ministry. The reports, as well as the newly acquired geophysical data and well logs are all multi-client products to be exclusively marketed by TGS on behalf of the Ministry.

The timing for this historic bid round is as follows:
*Feb. 19, 2009 – Bid round opens
*Dec. 15, 2009 – Final submission of bids
*March 15, 2010 – Expected award of concessions

06/17/09

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