Oil drilling is under way in two locations in Somalia's northern Puntland region, Africa Oil has said.
A statement issued on Tuesday indicates that the Vancouver-based Horn Petroleum, a unit of Africa Oil, is drilling a well in the Dharor Valley and will shortly begin drilling another in the Nugal Valley, both in south-central Puntland. According to the statement, both locations are situated along a rift system that has also produced in oil in Yemen.
It's a new beginning - if oil is found it will change Somalia for the better,' Issa Farah, head of Puntland's Petroleum and Minerals Agency told the BBC.
I think in 10 years' time - if oil is found - we will see a better country, a stronger country that lives in peace and prosperity with its own neighbors and, hopefully, that produces what we have been all looking for - peace, prosperity, development and progress.
It will take about three months to complete the two wells, The Associated Press reported. The recoverable oil is estimated at around 300 million barrels.
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The statement also indicated that the two wells are the first to be drilled in 20 years in war-ravaged Somalia, which has not had a stable government for 21 years.