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Somaliland Mining Laws


Update: 15/06/2016

The Somaliland laws relating to mining are currently being updated and the draft laws are being considered by the House of Representatives. Updated information on the legal developments and on mining policies are available at the Somaliland Ministry of Energy & Minerals Website.

Draft New Laws:

Copies of the early drafts of the new laws which will be replacing the dated current mining laws (see below) are available below:

An early copy of the Draft Petroleum Policy is also available at the Ministry Website.

Somaliland Oil Blocks:

An update map of the Somaliland oil blocks and of indications of the areas where concessions have so far been given is available at this link:

Background  Information

Under 130(5) of the Somaliland, laws which were in force in Somaliland in 1991 when the Republic re-asserted its independence are still in use in so far as they do not conflict with fundamental human rights or Islamic Sharia until new laws are promulgated.  Somaliland, therefore still uses some of the major Codes used in the former Somali Republic, but with the relevant modifications relating to the sovereignty of the Republic.

The Somaliland Mining Code and Regulations  is therefore essentially the 1984 Code & Regulations and covers all minerals and mining. The full text of the Code and the regulations, as well as the accompanying forms can be accessed here:

The Republic of Somaliland has not yet issued a separate Oil or Petroleum Law, and the Mining Code & Regulations general provisions and those provisions relating to “hydrocarbons” govern the prospecting and mining of oil/petroleum. Despite its claims, the recent 2007 SOMALIAN Petroleum  Bill   DOES NOT APPLY TO THE REPUBLIC OF SOMALILAND which re-asserted its independence as a sovereign state in May 1991. The neighbouring Somalian region - Puntland - has  issued its own Mineral Resources & Petroleum  Development Law (March 2008).

The Republic of Somaliland has developed its own policies with regard to pre 1991 exploration concessions in the territory of Somaliland, which have been relinquished by the relevant companies. 

Somaliland to Hold First Bid Round for Hydrocarbon Exploration: The Somaliland Ministry of Water and Mineral Resources (Ministry) announced that the  first bid round for hydrocarbon concessions  opened in February 2009. The bid round included eight concession blocks comprised of more than 89,624 square kilometres of onshore and offshore areas. The time table for this bid round is as follows:

  • February 19, 2009 – Bid round opens
  • August 15, 2009 – Final submission of bids
  • December 15, 2009 – Expected award of concessions

For more information about the bid round, see these reports .

Somaliland Country Background & Hydrocarbon Potential:  A  Presentation by the Ministry of Water & Mineral Resources Presentation (large pdf file)

  Somaliland Ministry of Minerals (MMWR) Press Release 10/04/2008:  The Ministry “.. pleased to announce that TGS-NOPEC Geophysical Company recently completed an on-shore program of 34,600 kilometres of aeromagnetic data and a 2D seismic survey of offshore Somaliland , consisting of 5,100 KM of modern seismic data” ... Read More.


TGS Press Release 11/04/2008:  TGS Acquires Acquires Multi-Client Seismic And Aeromagnetic Programs in Somaliland: TGS-NOPEC Geophysical Company (TGS) announced today that it has completed acquisition of two new multi-client programs in Somaliland.  Offshore, TGS has acquired approximately 5,100 kilometers of 2D seismic, gravity, and magnetic data covering both shallow and deep water areas. Processing and interpretation of the data should be available to clients by the third quarter of 2008. Onshore, TGS has acquired approximately 34,000 kilometers of high resolution aeromagnetic data covering all known Somaliland petroleum basins. The aeromagnetic data is currently in processing and should be available to clients by mid-2008. Both programs have been acquired in cooperation with the Ministry of Water and Natural Resources and are marketed exclusively by TGS. The Somaliland government has announced its intent to conduct an open bid round later in the year after the data become available. The seismic and aeromagnetic programs being acquired by TGS will provide data needed to define the principle structural elements of the area and allow for the development of leads, plays, and structural highs for further investigation. The area is geologically analogous to Yemen where several oil fields have been discovered to date.  Both programs are supported by industry prefunding.

(2007 Note):

The Republic of Somaliland  concession blocks for hydrocarbon exploration are as follows:

(For more information contact the Somaliland Ministry of Energy & Minerals at Hargeysa, Somaliland or any of the Somaliland offices  abroad)

 The  pre- 1991 Concession Blocks were as follows:


  •   The hydro carbon potential of Somaliland – Mr M Y ALI
  •  or at the Somaliland Times website.

  • Prospects for oil in Somaliland :
  • Long term interest of oil companies in Somalia & Somaliland.  Substantial reserves found in Yemen. According to Geologists, the Yemen reserve is part of continuous deposit, crossing into Somaliland.  Somaliland & Yemen joined together millions of years ago.  Somaliland possesses all the requirements for a petroliferous province Geological Observations :
    Hydrocarbons (oil and gas) have been generated in the Jurassic, Cretaceous and Tertiary rocks and has a sedimentary column thickening to 8830m.  Many porous reservoirs are known, both in carbonate and clastic rocks, and various types of traps are probably present.  Thomas O'Connor, Chief Petroleum Engineer for the World Bank (headed in-depth 3 year study of oil prospects in the Gulf of Aden, off Somaliland cost): “It's there. There is no doubt there is oil there. You don't know until you study a lot further just how much is there and it has commercial potential.

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