World Bulletin / News Desk
Somalia's government accused Kenya on Friday of awarding offshore oil and gas exploration blocks illegally to multinationals Total and Eni because the concessions lie in waters claimed by Somalia.
The spat between Kenya and its war-ruined neighbour could complicate the hunt for resources along a part of the East African coastline, rapidly emerging as one of the world's hottest oil exploration prospects.
Somalia's deputy energy minister, Abdullahi Dool, said contracts awarded for four blocks in deep waters were invalid and the government planned to complain to the United Nations, which oversees maritime border laws.
"We are concerned about the lease of blocks," Dool told Reuters. "I am sure we will lodge complaints."
The blocks are among seven awarded by Kenya last week, three of them to Italy's Eni and one to France's Total .
They lie in an area long contested by Kenya, East Africa's biggest economy, and Somalia, wrecked by more than two decades of civil war, split between an interim government and Islamist insurgents and serving as the main base for Indian Ocean pirates.
Kenya rejected the accusation that ownership of the blocks was contested and said there was no need to hold up exploration.
Kenya's first major oil discovery in March has raised expectations of more to come.
"Saying these are not Kenyan blocks is like saying we don't have a full-fledged government, like we are a banana republic," petroleum commissioner Martin Heya said.
An Eni spokesman said the company would not comment on the challenge to its rights to blocks L21, L23 and L24. Total, awarded block 122, did not respond to requests for comment.
Kenya says the maritime boundary, over which there is no formal agreement, should run due east from the point at which the land border meets the coast, like the maritime boundaries of other countries along the coast.
Somalia says the boundary should extend perpendicular to the coastline, giving it a big chunk of the waters claimed by Kenya.
The dispute mirrors those in other parts of Africa where resources straddle boundaries that were first drawn only vaguely by colonial era map makers.
Kenya and Somalia signed a memorandum of understanding in 2009 that the border would run east along the line of latitude, but Somalia, which has lacked an effective central government since 1991, then rejected the agreement in parliament.
The quarrel over the oil blocks strains otherwise close ties between Kenya and the Somali government. In fact, Kenya sent troops into Somalia last year to attack fighters who control swathes of the country.
Joshua Brien, a legal adviser with the Commonwealth Secretariat who is advising Kenya on the matter, said no legal boundary can be established until both governments sign a U.N.-approved agreement or move the issue to an international court.
"It's not impossible they could come to a resolution, but the situation in Somalia is so uncertain," Brien told Reuters by phone from London.
Istanbul's July 15 Martyrs' Bridge and Fatih Sultan Mehmet Bridge yield over $77.3M, while highway tolls earn $243.1M
Turkey's natural gas consumption decreases by 4.74 percent in November year-on-year
Members of the European Parliament's powerful trade committee voted 25 in favour of the deal, known as CETA, with 15 against, during a heated session in Brussels that was interrupted by a protestor.
Data monitoring company IHS Markit said its report suggested the 19-nation eurozone economy was set for solid growth with the new year starting on a strong note.
Central Bank skips repo auction for eight trading day to stem sharp decline in lira's value against other currencies
The December 10 accord obliges around a dozen nations led by Russia that are outside the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries to reduce output by 558,000 barrels per day (bpd).
Turkish Treasury says dollar-denominated bond sale was more than three times oversubscribed
"The bank is weighing transferring up to 1,000 employees to Frankfurt, including traders as well as top bankers," the paper reported, citing financial industry sources.
Frankfurt's DAX 30 index won 0.2 percent compared with the close on Wednesday to 11,624.11 points and the Paris CAC 40 rose 0.1 percent to 4,859.76 .
A weaker yen helped Japanese stocks lead a broad advance across Asian markets as optimism was buoyed by Yellen's remarks on the economy but traders moved cautiously ahead of Donald Trump's inauguration on Friday.
Central Bank skips repo auction for fifth trading day to stem sharp decline in lira value against other currencies
Number of tourists across the world rose to all time high of 1.235 billion last year, World Tourism Organization said on Tuesday.
Turkish central bank has announced to open foreign exchange depot market to enhance flexibility and instrument diversity
While PM promises 'greatest possible' access to EU market, opposition hits out at 'clear break' from Conservative policy
Prime Minister Theresa May is expected to deliver Brexit speech on Tuesday
"Net easing of banks' overall terms and conditions on new loans continued across all loan categories," as in previous quarters, the central bank said in a statement.