US interests in Somalia
Copyright 1993 The Times Mirror Company
Los Angeles Times
January 18, 1993
THE OIL FACTOR IN SOMALIA
FOUR AMERICAN PETROLEUM GIANTS HAD AGREEMENTS WITH THE AFRICAN NATION BEFORE ITS CIVIL WAR BEGAN. THEY COULD REAP BIG REWARDS IF PEACE IS RESTORED
By MARK FINEMAN
DATELINE: MOGADISHU, Somalia
Far beneath the surface of the tragic drama of Somalia, four major U.S. oil companies are quietly sitting on a prospective fortune in exclusive concessions to explore and exploit tens of millions of acres of the Somali countryside.
That land, in the opinion of geologists and industry sources, could yield significant amounts of oil and natural gas if the U.S.-led military mission can restore peace to the impoverished East African nation.
According to documents obtained by The Times, nearly two-thirds of Somalia was allocated to the American oil giants Conoco, Amoco, Chevron and Phillips in the final years before Somalia’s pro-U.S. President Mohamed Siad Barre was overthrown and the nation plunged into chaos in January, 1991. Industry sources said the companies holding the rights to the most promising concessions are hoping that the Bush Administration’s decision to send U.S. troops to safeguard aid shipments to Somalia will also help protect their multimillion-dollar investments there.