P U N T L A N D M I N E R A L
E X P L O R A T I O N S E R I E S
My associates of the Roobdoon Forum and I welcome any legal attempts to explore the natural resources of our country, so long as it has the blessings of the Somali Central Authority (TFG). Skillful exploitation of our natural resources for the betterment of our people is an inevitable and necessary concomitant to our survival as a nation-state.
One of the major battles that will be fought on the Somali Transitional Federal Government (TFG) seat in Baidoa, these coming weeks, will be on the issue of “who has the right/or power to negotiate the sale of mineral rights to foreign firms”. In other words, can a regional administration be able to secure the exclusive mineral rights over a large junk of Somali territory to a small mining company based in Perth, Australia?
As early as mid 2005, Puntland regional administration has already taken the position that, given sufficient justifications, it found a partner and may begin soon exploration work in Puntland. Puntland officials were so little concerned that the permit might be denied (by the TFG) that they began negotiating a mining exploration company from Australia – Range Resources.
However, in the last few weeks, it seems that complication were soon to arise. For one thing, a proposed new hydrocarbons law will soon be reviewed and debated by the Somali Parliament. If this new bill is passed, the new law will nullify any exploration rights that have been agreed after 1990. For another thing, if the new bill is approved, only Somali Petroleum Corp. will be able to invite foreign firms to own any stake in Somalia.
Finally, to reflect the current developments in Puntland, the Forum posts excerpts of news-coverage on the issue of concession agreements between Puntland and Range Resources Ltd. These agreements have taken the center stage of Adde Muse’s reign in Puntland.
2 0 0 5 - 2 0 0 7
Somaliland issues a warning about the legality of a permit - range resources
The Indian Ocean Newsletter
January 21, 2006
The self-proclaimed government of Somaliland (in the North West of Somalia) has issued a warning to the Australian mining company Range Resources Ltd. It stated that in its view the deal concluded between Range Resources (ION 1151) and the autonomous administration of Puntland (North East of Somalia) was illegal. Somaliland considers that a portion of the area covered in this mining prospecting deal (the Sool and Sanag regions) form an integral part of its territory. It bases this view on the border line during the period when Somaliland was a British Protectorate. Range Resources had previously come up against the opposition of Ali Mohammed Gedi, Prime Minister of the Transitional Federal Government (TFG), but he has since taken on a softer stance. For his part, the President of Puntland, Mohamoud Muse Hersi “Adde” has received an advance of $1 million to grant Range the permit. This sum was used to fund the renovation of Bosaso airport.
© Copyrights 2006 Indigo Publications All Rights Reserved
Somaliland’s Warning Over Puntland
Africa Energy Intelligence
January 25, 2006
Australia’s Range Resources, which holds a contract enabling it to explore all of the sub-soil of Puntland, an autonomous regional of Somalia, has received a warning from the government of Somaliland, another province that has declared its independence from Somalia. Somalialand fears that two regions which it considers to form part of its territory - the Sool and Sanaag regions - were included in the agreement signed between Puntland and the Australian firm.
© Copyright 2006 Indigo Publications All Rights Reserved
Range nails down Somalia acreage
January 20, 2006
Australian outfit readies to spud after winning Mogadishu nod
AUSTRALIAN minnow Range Resources has consolidated its claim to a vast tract of onshore and offshore acreage in the north-east province of Puntland in Somalia, and is planning to spud within weeks.
A land rig has been sourced for the job, which was held up for several weeks after the Transitional Federal Government (TFG) queried the documentation.
Last year, Range announced sweeping exploration and production rights in the region, previously held by ConocoPhillips, but Prime Minister Ali Mohammed Gedi contested the jurisdiction of the Puntland government to sign off on mineral and petroleum rights without Mogadishu's consent.
Puntland's former warlord and President of Somalia, Abdullahi Yusuf, acted swiftly to smooth ruffled feathers and Gedi has now signed the deal.
Range first identified the play last year, with the assistance of Dubai-based Exile Resources, and bought the rights from Consort Private.
Gedi insisted that "foreign companies should desist in attempts to deal with local authorities without obtaining prior written consent from the TFG".
It is understood Range has launched a major recruiting drive to gain the necessary operational management skills for the job, located in one of Africa's most volatile regions.
Seismic consultant ECL has completed initial studies and Range is reinterpreting key data prior to defining drilling targets.
Range is considering several structures in the Nogal basin mapped out by ConocoPhillips in the early 1990s before the civil war prompted it to declare force majeure. ConocoPhillips drilled two untested probes in the area that hit oil before being hurriedly shut down.
Puntland borders the independent breakaway Republic of Somaliland, which hopes to launch its own exploration and production drive with companies that can overlook the latter's lack of recognised sovereign status.
Both the Sool and Sanag regions are disputed with Somaliland but indications are that targeted plays are located well away from these areas.
Range's territory is mainly onshore but sweeps to the coast, beyond which the company also holds the contiguous marine acreage. Chevron and Conoco-Phillips walked away from plots in the oil-prospective Las Anod region straddling Somaliland and Puntland.
Yusuf has been quoted by former Somali diplomatic sources as saying that significant amounts of oil and gas lie in key blocks 28 and 29 held by ConocoPhillips before the civil war.
© 2006, Upstream.
10 October 2005
Company Announcements Office
Australian Stock Exchange Limited
20 Bridge Street
GOVERNMENT SUPPORT FOR PUNTLAND AGREEMENT
In reference to the Company's announcement last Wednesday, 5 October 2005 and following a number of shareholder and media queries in respect of the regulatory approvals required from relevant Somalian and Puntland government bodies in order for the Heads of Agreement to take effect, the Company is pleased to advise the following:
Ø The Puntland Government has already provided Consort with in principal approval for the deal as contemplated by the Heads of Agreement with Range. Range and Consort are currently procuring the formal mechanical approvals required under the Puntland Agreement itself but does not see the process as potentially affecting any of the material terms contemplated by the Heads of Agreement; and
Ø the Transitional Federal Government of the Republic of Somalia has provided Consort with written approval with regards to the validity, operation and effect of the Puntland Agreement subject only to amendments being made to the Contract of Work to reflect the constitutions of both the Puntland and Transitional Federal Governments. The Company views these amendments as more mechanical in nature and does not foresee any major problems in satisfying the regulatory approvals required as conditions precedent under the Heads of Agreement.
The Company looks forward to updating shareholders as to the progress of the Puntland project and the satisfaction of the various conditions precedent.
7 November 2005
Companies Announcement Office
Australian Stock Exchange Limited
20 Bond Street
SYDNEY NSW 2000
TRANSITIONAL FEDERAL GOVERNMENT SUPPORT FOR RANGE AND THE PUNTLAND JOINT VENTURE
Further to the Company’s announcement on 10 October 2005 in relation to the support Consort Private Limited (“Consort”) – Range’s joint venture partner in Puntland – had received from both the Puntland Government and the Transitional Federal Government of the Republic of Somalia, the Company is pleased to advise of the following subsequent developments with regard to the support for the Range / Consort initiative in developing all minerals and hydrocarbons in Puntland:
Ø Following the Contract of Work entered into between the Government of Puntland and Consort, the Puntland Government has officially sanctioned Range’s involvement with Consort and the Puntland Government and offered unconditional support for Range as it commences its role in managing the commercial development of all of Puntland’s sub soil resources; and
Ø The Transitional Federal Government of the Republic of Somalia has written to the Puntland Government acknowledging the Contract of Work and expressly supporting the Puntland Government’s “efforts towards enhancing the national economy by materailizing the exploration, exploitation and marketing of the country’s sub soil resources in close collaboration with its partners Consort Private Limited and Range Resources Limited”.
Range continues to strengthen its Government ties in Puntland (and Somalia) and is comfortable that the framework is in place to ensure that Range can effectively manage the exploration and development of Puntland’s sub soil resources. Full copies of the above letters of support are available for review on the Company’s website: www.rangeresources.com.au.
The Board is also pleased to advise that current Company Secretary, Peter Landau will be joining the Board as a Director. Mr Landau has extensive corporate, legal and commercial experience and is currently a Director of a number of ASX listed companies. The Board looks forward to Mr Landau’s increased involvement with the Company. Commensurate with the new appointment, the Board advises that Mr Arthur Ioannou has resigned as Director / Joint Company Secretary.
Range Resources gains government support in Puntland
Ralph Wragg Australian Business News
November 07, 2005
Sydney - Monday - November 7: (RWE Australian Business News) - Range Resources Ltd (ASX code: RRS) today reported on new developments with regard to the support for the Range/Consort initiative in developing all minerals and hydrocarbons in Puntland.
This follows Range's announcement on October 10 in relation to the support Consort Private Ltd - Range's joint venture partner in Puntland - had received from both the Puntland Government and the Transitional Federal Government of the Republic of Somalia.
The company today said that following the contract of work entered into between the Government of Puntland and Consort, the Puntland Government had officially sanctioned Range's involvement with Consort and the Puntland Government and offered unconditional support for Range as it began its role in managing the commercial development of all of Puntland's sub-soil resources.
Also, the Transitional Federal Government of the Republic of Somalia has written to the Puntland Government acknowledging the contract of work and expressly supporting the Puntland Government's "efforts towards enhancing the national economy by materialising the exploration, exploitation and marketing of the country's sub-soil resources in close collaboration with its partners Consort Private Ltd and Range Resources Ltd".
Range said it continued to strengthen its government ties in Puntland (and Somalia) and was comfortable that the framework was in place to ensure that it could effectively manage the exploration and development of Puntland's sub-soil resources.
Shares in Range rose 0.7c to 4.3c this morning.
© Copyright 2005 RWE AUSTRALIAN BUSINESS NEWS PTY LTD. All Rights Reserved.