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Soma Oil & Gas seeks first mover advantage

A company headed by former UK Conservative Party chief Michael Howard has won substantial rights to Somali exploration acreage in exchange for funding seismic acquisition. With delays to a promised new oil law, and no sign of a planned licensing round, conspiracy theories abound, but Soma argues that the deal is exactly what the country needs. “The government aims to accelerate the pace of exploration and development activity and open up the country’s hydrocarbons industry,” said a company spokesman. “Soma’s work will demonstrate to the IOCs that it is possible operationally to work in the country and thereby encourage the IOCs to recommence their work programmes.”

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