The Ministry of Petroleum and Mineral Resources welcomes the judgement of the UK High Court of Justice regarding the UK Serious Fraud Office’s (SFO) probe of possible illegal payments from Soma Oil & Gas Holdings Ltd to Somali officials. The Approved Judgment provides Soma with official confirmation that the allegations of the Somalia Eritrea Monitoring Group have been fully investigated by the SFO and there is “no evidence of criminality”.
This finding is consistent with that of an independent Somali committee appointed by the Prime Minister of the Federal Government of Somalia in 2015. The Committee found no evidence that the capacity building agreement with SOMA was reached on ‘quid pro quo’ basis. The Ministry is always prepared to co-operate and counteract any allegations against the work that we do with accountability.
The Ministry of Petroleum and Mineral Resources, is almost completing its work to explore Somalia’s hydrocarbon resources and conduct business with oil companies. We believe that adequate regulatory and legal frameworks are a prerequisite to the exploration and development of a frontier country like Somalia.
Therefore, in collaboration with the World Bank, the review of the legal, regulatory and fiscal frameworks of our petroleum sector have been successfully completed. With the support of the African Development Bank, the Ministry has reviewed Somalia’s Production Sharing Agreement Model. The Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources has appointed a technical team consisting of expertise from the Ministry, Office of the State Attorney General and the World Bank as a Working Group to review the Petroleum Law of 2008, Somali Petroleum Authority and Somali National Oil Company.
The Somali government is aware that the exploitation of natural resources can threaten peace and stability of any country, if necessary measures are not taken to ensure effective management of resources and shared vision on the natural resources development. Therefore, the government is working on an interim agreement of petroleum management and revenue sharing.
We want to continue performing our duty for Somalia and its people to the best of our ability in a responsible and transparent manner.