Stephenson Harwood advises Soma Oil and Gas on agreement with Somalian government

Stephenson Harwood has advised Soma Oil & Gas on its agreement, signed with the government of the Federal Republic of Somalia on 6 August 2013, to assist in the development of the country’s hydrocarbons sector.

Under the terms of the agreement, Soma will conduct seismic surveying in Somalia’s territorial waters in areas agreed with the government and in certain limited onshore areas. Soma will also collate and reprocess historic seismic data using modern techniques and prepare an evaluation of Somalia’s petroleum potential.

A data room for the Somali government will also be created, into which all available data will be placed. The survey that Soma conducts will give it the right to nominate and obtain exploration and drilling rights under production sharing agreements for prospective areas.

This agreement is the first in Somalia’s oil and gas industry since the election of president Hassan Sheikh Mohamud and the appointment of an internationally recognised government in 2012 following decades of civil war.

The Stephenson Harwood team was led by partners Jeremy Sheldon and Tony Edwards, with associate Jennifer Tyson assisting.