Oil Drilling Begins in Somalia’s Puntland

Posted January 17th, 2012 at 8:40 am (UTC-5)
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A Canadian oil company says it has begun drilling for oil at two locations in Somalia's semi-autonomous Puntland region.

In a statement Tuesday, Vancouver-based Africa Oil says Horn Petroleum, a unit of the company, is drilling wells in the Dharoor Valley and at Shabeel.

It says both prospects are located along a rift system that has produced oil in Yemen.

The company says it will take about three months to access the recoverable oil, which is estimated at around 300 million barrels.

Africa Oil says the oil exploration wells are the first to be drilled in more than 20 years in war-torn Somalia.

Horn Petroleum President David Grellman says the company has strong support from the Puntland government and local communities, who he says are eager to see development resume in the region after years of strife.