Creating new perspectives since 2009

Turkiye signs energy cooperation deal with Somalia

March 7, 2024 at 4:37 pm

Turkish Energy and Natural Resources Minister Alparslan Bayraktar speaks during an exclusive interview as part of the Libya Energy and Economic Summit in Tripoli, Libya on January 13, 2024. [Hamza Al Ahmar – Anadolu Agency]

Turkiye and Somalia have signed an energy exploration and drilling agreement regarding the search for oil and gas reserves, in the most major recent deal between the two allied states.

In the Turkish city of Istanbul today, Turkiye’s Energy Minister, Alparslan Bayraktar, and Somalia’s Petroleum and Mineral Resources, Minister Abdirizak Omar Mohamed, signed a landmark deal for the harvesting of hydrocarbon reserves in the East African country’s exclusive economic zone, as well as the granting of land exploration rights.

It also subsequently enables Turkiye to develop Somalia’s maritime resources in its exclusive economic zone, which has not been developed since the 1990s when the Somali government at the time collapsed.

According to a Turkish energy expert, cited by the UK-based news outlet Middle East Eye, the deal is expected to require major efforts by the Turkish government and firms involved in the effort to drill for the energy resources and develop them.

READ: Somalia sees an intertwined destiny with the Turkiye people

In that regard, there may be a significant period of time before substantial results are seen, with the expert recalling that Ankara “signed a similar land and offshore exploration deal with Libya in 2022 but the progress has been non-existent”.

A prominent reason for such delays is reportedly the fact that Turkiye is already conducting extensive exploration and drilling efforts in the Black Sea region, where it struck a number of discoveries in recent years. “Ankara could deploy Turkish petroleum drillship, Abdulhamit, to Somalia if it wants”, however, said the unnamed expert.

The agreement between Turkiye and Somalia comes two months after Ethiopia signed an agreement with Somalia’s northern rival and breakaway state of Somaliland, granting Addis Ababa naval and commercial access to ports along Somaliland’s coast in exchange for recognition of its independence.

Following that, Ankara and Mogadishu signed a major defence deal last month, agreeing that Turkiye would defend Somali waters against internal and external threats – including piracy and terrorism – for the next decade.

READ: Turkiye Red Crescent sends its biggest Gaza aid shipment yet