Kenya: Recent Twist in Kenya-Somalia Row

Photograph: Day by day Nation

Guests are taken on a tour of the oil rig at Ngamia 1 in Turkana County (file picture).

The Norwegian consultancy agency that gathered knowledge on Mogadishu’s oil inventory within the Indian Ocean says it solely labored on blocks in Somali territory.

The knowledge gathered by Spectrum Geo was used to market the blocks to traders in London.


In a short assertion on Monday, Graham Mayhew, the corporate’s Government Vice-President for Africa, mentioned it had been contracted to collect seismic knowledge solely in Somali territory, avoiding the areas contested by Kenya.

“Spectrum acquired a complete of 20,185km of 2D seismic knowledge, in a grid stretching from south of the maritime border with the Federal State of Puntland, to north of the maritime border with the Republic of Kenya.

“All of this seismic knowledge was acquired wholly throughout the maritime territory of the Federal Authorities of Somalia and no knowledge have been acquired throughout the space at present the topic of the maritime delimitation case with Kenya,” he mentioned.

The corporate, although not responding instantly, was referring to Kenya’s declare on Saturday that Somalia had “auctioned” oil blocks belonging to Nairobi, throughout an oil convention on February 7 in London.

Somali delegates had marketed their oil inventory profile to traders, largely counting on seismic knowledge gathered by Spectrum since 2015 when it signed a contract with Mogadishu to acquire further knowledge.

The info depicted oil shares in 15 blocks, overlaying water depths of between 30 metres to four kilometres, analysed utilizing what Spectrum known as fashionable processing algorithms to attain “optimum imaging of steeply-dipping extensional and compressional options and illumination of delicate amplitude anomalies.”

The corporate confirmed no oil blocks had been auctioned however mentioned the convention had solely been a “promotion” of the Somalia offshore oil and gasoline.


Mogadishu had equally denied the cost on Sunday.

However even because the agency clarified the matter, each side continued to entrance divergent maps of the identical space.

Spectrum produced a map of seismic research space, indicating all of the 15 blocks have been in Somali territory, together with the three southern blocks within the Jubba-Lamu Basin, however north of the parallel latitude proposed by Kenya.

Kenya had on its half produced the identical map, however indicating the blocks labelled L21, L23, L24 and L25 as a few of these controversially marketed.

Regardless of the obvious calming of the tensions between Nairobi and Mogadishu; the tiff over which blocks must be marketed and which of them should not have been a matter of controversy earlier than.

Lengthy earlier than Somalia filed a case on the Worldwide Court docket of Justice, looking for to redraw the maritime boundary with Kenya, it accused Kenya of granting exploration licences to French agency Complete and Italian agency Eni; at the same time as the 2 sides offered the disputed earlier than the UN Fee on Regulation of the Sea.

Somalia would later sue on the ICJ, however the matter on exploration nonetheless emerged.

For instance, Somalia’s authorized staff argued Kenya had continued providing offshore blocks primarily based on its claimed boundary, though Somalia objected.


“Kenya’s Block L-22 straddles the equidistance line in areas between roughly 52 and 104 miles from the coast,” Somalia argued in its submissions.

“Kenya awarded it to the French oil firm Complete SA in 2012. In 2013, Complete carried out a 2D seismic survey and sea core drilling operations within the space,” the court docket heard.

Somalia informed the Court docket that blocks L21, L23 and L24 which Kenya claims as being in its territory “lie in deeper water fully or predominantly on the Somali facet of the equidistance line.

The ICJ, which has binding choices on each Kenya and Somalia, allowed the case to proceed to full listening to regardless of Kenya objecting, arguing there was an MOU that offered for different dispute decision.

A bench of 13 judges, the place three dissented, agreed that the MoU, signed by then International Affairs Minister Moses Wetang’ula and former Somali Planning Minister Abdirahman Abdishakur Warsame, was a authorized doc for each Somalia and Kenya.

However the court docket dominated it had jurisdiction as a result of the doc didn’t really present for a way to resolve the dispute.

Mr Warsame, had earlier informed the Nation that his want for MoU was rejected by Somali MPs, and that the court docket ought to resolve the problem.

Now the chief of the opposition get together Wadajir, he has been campaigning in opposition to any advertising and marketing of oil blocks until there’s full transparency and correct authorized regime.

Mr Wetang’ula on his half says Kenya ought to solely have cautioned traders to verify the place the blocks lie earlier than getting into any offers, slightly than issuing a harsh assertion.

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