Wednesday, February 01, 2023
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Potential Manpower Bottleneck in Somalia’s Oil and Gas Sector

Prof.  Hassan A. Hussein

Oil and Gas and other natural resources can be a blessing or a curse. Africa is fortunately blessed with varied commercial primary energy resources like oil, natural gas & coal, which account respectively for 7.3%, 7.2% and 5.6% of the world’s reserves. Crude oil remains a leading primary energy resource around the world and will do so for the next decade.

Oil and gas discoveries in Mozambique, Tanzania and Kenya (offshore) and the potential for oil and gas reserves in offshore Somalia.

Recent oil and gas discoveries in the Mozambique, Tanzania and Kenya (offshore) have led to the belief of huge potential for oil and gas reserves in offshore Somalia. If managed well, oil and gas resources may boost investment which in turn, could result in revenues with the potential to provide sustainable economic benefits for all Somalis. However, there are many examples of countries where the discovery of natural resources has fuelled conflicts and economic regression instead.

Despite two decades in which the potential for the development of the hydrocarbon exploration in Somalia has been impossible due to the civil war.  In 2014 Spectrum ASA was assigned to perform 2D seismic surveys in offshore Somalia and finally, the second large 2D seismic survey in offshore Somalia was acquired in 2016.

The interpretation of the 2D seismic surveys revealed the presence of geological structures and stratigraphic traps offshore that seem favorable in holding significant amounts of hydrocarbons. The next exploration phase will find areas where the oil and gas had been produced in a source rock, such as shale, then migrated to a porous reservoir rock, before becoming trapped by another layer of dense rock or naturally occurring faults.

Offshore Somalia can be divided into three basins, each defined by their own individual structural regimes; these are Somalia Northern Hobyo Basin,  Central Coriole Basin, and Southern Juba-Lamu Basin (Spectrum, 2014). 

An Oil and gas policy was conscripted in 2015, which covers Somalia’s governance of the upstream petroleum sector, including activities related to reconnaissance, exploration, development and production.

In October 2022, Somali Federal government ratified the Product Sharing Agreement (PSA). The oil and gas sector promises to be a vehicle for the country’s transformation; only if the industry can be managed efficiently and effectively.

Offshore Somalia basins of Somalia Northern Hobyo Basin, Central Coriole Basin, and Southern Juba-Lamu Basin (Spectrum, 2014). 

Coastline Exploration Company will commence the exploration program for the offshore deep-water blocks soon. However, Somalia has insufficient professionals in the fields of petroleum and oil and gas management who can be part of the hydrocarbon exploration and production.  Somali Federal Government and Coastline must address the shortage of manpower, so it is highly recommended that they should train petroleum and oil & gas professionals who are highly skilled, knowledgeable and adaptable to the dynamic environment. Such experts must have a combination of technological and management skills, knowledge and competencies. The field offers diverse career opportunities and graduates may find themselves employed in areas such as Exploration, Production, Reservoir, Facilities, Transportation, Drilling, Economics, Management and many more.

There is the East Africa Institute for Research, Training and Development which has prepared and offers a Diploma program in Oil and Gas Management. The program provides students with comprehensive knowledge, skills and competencies relating to the oil and gas management industry and will prepare future junior executives and business managers for the emerging oil & gas industry in Somalia.

The Diploma is designed for students and individuals who are interested in following a career in oil and gas management and have transferable skills in such areas as Sales, Business development, Geology, technical/engineering experience, or Management, and can easily make the transition to the oil and gas sector. The courses will be taught by combination of highly experienced professionals with industry & academic experience. The program will be offered through both synchronous and asynchronous pathways, so there is an opportunity to attend wherever you are.

If you need more info about the Oil and Gas Diploma, kindly contact us via the following
e-mails:   [email protected] and [email protected]

Prof.  Hassan A. Hussein
Email: [email protected]


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