Hargeysa, Somaliland, 9 February 2008 (SL Times) – The Director General of the Ministry of Water & Minerals (MWM), Mr Ahmed Ibrahim Sultan on Sunday acknowledged that his ministry has been approached by the Swedish registered Lundin Petroleum Company and that the company made inquiries with the MWM for exploration petroleum license.
Responding to last week’s media reports that the MWM was in the process of issuing Somaliland oil and gas concessions to the Australian based Range Resources and its partner company working in Puntland, Africa Oil and Lundin Petroleum, Mr Sultan, acknowledged, that his ministry has had contact with Lundin and that there was some truth in the media reports, in particular, that the MWM had written to Lundin and asked Lundin to clarify its position regarding Range and Africa Oil. However, Mr Sultan denied that his ministry has had any contacts with Range.
“Lundin had made it clear to us that it had no association whatsoever or links with these two mentioned companies. If it turns out that Lundin is associated with Range/Africa Oil or shareholders with interests in Puntland, the ministry will have nothing to with Lundin,” said Mr Sultan.
The DG said, “It’s part of the ministry’s normal formalities to make enquiries and checks on companies that want to operate in Somaliland and that the ministry has every right to know who they are dealing with.”
Mr Sultan further elaborated, “We did not get into an agreement with Lundin, nor have we issued them a license to operate in the country. Our contact with Lundin was just an exchange of formal introduction and information, and as a matter of fact, we have not heard from them for some time.”
Source: Editor’s desk, Somaliland Times.