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Somalia’s first licensing round could be a tough sell

The former “failed state” needs to deliver on its promises if the bidding process is to be a success

The launch of a Somalian offshore licensing round at a London roadshow in February did much to showcase both the geological potential of the acreage on offer and the efforts being made by the fragile state's government to lure foreign investors who have been absent for decades. But oil companies will be wary of making substantial investments in a country that, until recently, was a by-word for political instability. The authorities will also need to convince them that production-sharing agreements (PSAs) on offer will be legally binding. Seismic survey firm Spectrum, which organised the roadshow in conjunction with the Somali government, is promoting 15 newly offered blocks in both sha

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