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Somali PM Says He Is Not Aware Of Oil Deal With China

by Staff Writers
London, UK (AFP) Jul 17, 2007
Somalia's interim prime minister said in an interview published Tuesday that he was not aware of a deal struck between Chinese energy companies and his government allotting them oil exploration rights. Ali Mohamed Gedi's comments were interpreted by the Financial Times as signalling a potential internal power struggle within the Somali government, reporting that it had seen a document signed by Somalia's president granting two officials power of attorney to sign a production-sharing agreemeent with the Chinese state companies.

"I'm not aware of this," Gedi said of the reported agreement between the government and oil companies CNOOC and China International Oil and Gas (CIOG).

"I don't know anything about it."

The FT said that the document signed by President Abdullahi Yusuf Ahmed gave the two officials power to sign an agreement on behalf of the Somali government in Beijing on May 24, 2006.

It added that an unnamed Western diplomat said it was unsurprising to find the country's prime minister and president working seemingly independently of each other.

The paper also said that Somalia's energy minister met with officials from the two companies last month, with an official record of the meeting reading: "The TFG (Transitional Federal Government) has and will continue to authorise CNOOC and CIOG to exercise their contract without any interruption during and after the effectiveness of the new national oil law."

Gedi told the paper, however, that no valid oil deals could be struck until the new oil law was endorsed by Somalia's interim parliament.

"There are many companies interested in exploring oil and gas in Somalia, but in order to protect the wealth of the country and the interests of the Somali people, we cannot operate without a regulatory body, without rules and regulations," he told the FT.

He said, though, that he was aware of "informal contacts" between members of his government and oil companies.

Source: Agence France-Presse

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Iran, Pakistan, India Agree Gas Price For Transnational Pipeline
New Delhi, India (RIA Novosti) Jul 17, 2007
Iran, Pakistan and India have agreed on a formula for the price of natural gas to be pumped through a pipeline that will link the three countries, India's Asian Age daily said. The deal has removed the main obstacle to the signing of a three-way agreement on building the 2,300 km Iran-Pakistan-India (IPI) pipeline with an estimated price tag of $7.5 billion. The first deliveries from gas-rich Iran are expected in 2011.

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