The multi-client, seismic imaging company, Spectrum, in a letter it addressed to the Ministry of Petroleum and Mineral Resources of the federal Government of Somalia (FGS), Monday, stated that oil blocks were not auctioned at the Somalia Oil and Gas Conference held at the Claridge Hotel, London, on 7 February.
The aim of the conference, according to the hosting company, was to promote the ‘Offshore Somalia Round’ which presented the findings of the exploration Spectrum undertook since it acquired the rights in 2015.
“During this successful promotion, no exploration blocks were auctioned,” Spectrum said in the letter dated 18 February, yesterday.
The letter goes on to state that seismic data collection did not encroach into any disputed areas.
“All of this seismic data was acquired wholly within the maritime territory of the Federal Government of Somalia and no data were acquired within the area currently the subject of maritime delimitation case with Kenya”, it stated.
Following that conference, Kenya kicked out the Somalia envoy to Kenya, Mohamed Ahmed Nur ‘Tarzan’, recalling its ambassador to Somalia, Lieutenant-General (Rtd) Lucas Tumbo, at the same time.
Kenya used very strong language making it appear that it had acquired infallible inside information on what really happened in London in and around the 7 Feb conference.
The Kenyan Ministry of Foreign Affairs accused Somalia of unilaterally putting the disputed L21, L23, L24, L25 Indian Ocean offshore Blocks on the market, auctioning them off to interested parties from the United Kingdom and Norway, among others.
As Spectrum depicts itself as ‘a Multi-Client Seismic Services company that acquires, processes, and interprets seismic data at its own expense and subsequently licenses the data to interested clients within the oil and gas industry’, demonstrations and denouncements followed.
Perhaps, the definition it gave itself, beamed an adverse interpretation to Somalians everywhere who, partly correctly, interpreted the Spectrum-organized conference on February 7 as a first of many steps for company to recover the resources it spent on seismic surveys off the shore of Somalia, and make a profit in the process. Hence, the ‘auctioning’ outcry.
The letter to the Somalia ministry was not published on the Spectrum page. Another, a statement on the same subject which, however, did not say anything of the auctioning issue, was – on the same date.
The Federal Government of Somalia hosted a successful promotion of the Somalia Offshore Round at the Somalia Oil and Gas Conference in London on 7th February 2019. Spectrum Geo assisted the Somali Government in organizing the event.
Spectrum is a Multi-Client Seismic Services company that acquires, processes, and interprets seismic data at its own expense and subsequently licenses the data to interested clients within the oil and gas industry. The clients typically use such data to make their assessment of the hydrocarbon bearing potential of an area.
During 2015-2016, in preparation for the Offshore Round, Spectrum completed the acquisition and processing of 20,185 km of 2D long-offset seismic data, under a co-operation agreement with the Federal Government of Somalia. This program is promoted and data is licensed to oil and gas companies by Spectrum on behalf of the Government, with the Government receiving part of the revenues. The seismic data acquired separately in 2014 was also made available to the Federal Government of Somalia and Spectrum also licenses these data to interested clients on behalf of the Government.
The Somalia Offshore Round event was hosted to enable interested parties to understand the Somalia Offshore potential from the seismic data, along with the selection of blocks, the legal and fiscal terms, and the bidding conditions. The organisation of the Offshore Round, the terms and any awards of blocks are managed and decided by the Somali Government.
Somalia’s Offshore has significant hydrocarbon resource potential and this event marks the start of a process for the Federal Government of Somalia to attract companies to explore and develop these resources in partnership with the Government.