Soma investigated for its Somali oil contracts

Britain’s Serious Fraud Office (SFO) has launched a criminal investigation into the British exploration firm Soma Oil and Gas, which has been searching for oil in Somalia. The company’s London headquarters were raided last week.

Soma has denied the allegations of corruption and said it is working with the SFO.

Ibrahim Hussein, head of external relations for the Ministry of Petroleum, said the Somali government would continue working with Soma until the investigation was concluded.

Two years ago Soma won a contract to conduct seismic surveys on 12 offshore oil and gas blocks, totalling 60,000 sq km. The contract awarded Soma the right to subsequently pick other blocks it wanted to exploit.


Sam Chambers

Starting out with the Informa Group in 2000 in Hong Kong, Sam Chambers became editor of Maritime Asia magazine as well as East Asia Editor for the world’s oldest newspaper, Lloyd’s List. In 2005 he pursued a freelance career and wrote for a variety of titles including taking on the role of Asia Editor at Seatrade magazine and China correspondent for Supply Chain Asia. His work has also appeared in The Economist, The New York Times, The Sunday Times and The International Herald Tribune.
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