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Oiling Wheels Of African Deal

Issue 349
Front Page
News Headlines
Local and Regional Affairs
Kgalema Motlanthe Sworn In as South Africa 's President
High Oil Prices Are A Threat To International Peace, Kenya President Warns
Navy Pursues Pirates Who Grab Arms Shipment
Somali Pirates' Unexpected Booty: Russian Tanks
US Should Join France And Somaliland In Combating Piracy
KULMIYE Statement On The Horn Of Africa
Features & Commentry
Shelterbox Offers Hope When Disaster Strikes
Somali Pirates Release Japanese Ship
Somali Pirates Turn Route to Suez Into `Most Dangerous' Waters
Kulmiye Leadership Should Quit Or Face History's Cruel Verdict


Kulmiye's Crisis And The Democracy In Somaliland


Dublin, Sep 26, 2008 HAVING STEPPED down last week from the board of Circle Oil, Irish businessman John McKeon has turned his attention to oil exploration in Somaliland, a self-governing African region that is seeking international recognition and independence from Somalia.

McKeon is one of the promoters of Enex Energy Resources, which has a joint venture with the government of Somaliland to prospect licenses to the southeast of the de facto state.

Somaliland's foreign minister, Abdillahi Mohamed Duale, was in Dublin this week. Enex was registered in Ireland .

Director Len Tiahlo says it expects to be shooting seismic in Somaliland by Christmas and hopes to drill two test wells.

He described the prospect as "world class", meaning it could have hundreds of millions of barrels of oil. That remains to be seen. This is a risky venture and the area in question is under claim by a Canadian company.

Somaliland 's government says the claim is spurious. This might be true but if Tiahlo is right about his prospect's potential, he will surely have to fight to establish a legal right to extract oil.

That's to say nothing of the terrorists and pirates operating in the region or the fact that Somaliland has yet to gain UN recognition.

McKeon is no stranger to doing business in Africa .

Earlier this month, he persuaded a Libyan fund set up by Col Muammar Gadafy to invest £19 million in Circle, which he co-founded, for its drilling activities in Africa .

Pulling off a similar trick with Enex would surely top it.

Source: The Irish Times



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