Oil for Development cooperation with Somalia
Norway received a request from President Hassan Sheik for Somalia to take part in the Norwegian–led Oil for Development program. This demand-driven program aims to share the Norwegian experience of petroleum sector governance and institutional set-up and cooperation with developing nations with emerging petroleum sectors. The program is in high demand, and the planning phase of the program has demonstrated a clear commitment for Somalia’s participation in the program.
It must be noted that the program is a government-to-government institutional capacity-building program. As such, it does not include any commercial activity or links to Norwegian commercial entities, apart from any consultants that might be hired to share Norwegian expertise.
The programme is built on four integrated pillars:
- Resource management, aiming for optimal utilization and management of petroleum-based resources.
- Revenue management, aiming for transparent and proper use of petroleum-based revenues
- Environment, aiming for minimal impact on the environment as a consequence of petroleum-based activities
- Occupational health and safety, aimed to protect workers’ health and work environment as well as minimizing operational downtimes caused by accidents and near-accidents
From the Norwegian side, it is emphasised that this program is not “pick-and-choose”-based, but based on a totality deemed necessary for good governance in the sector.
From the Norwegian side, it is important that all personnel that takes part in the program should have sufficient expertise to share Norwegian knowledge in a long-term perspective, suitably adapted to the partner country’s conditions. It is not an aim to promote Norwegian approaches to the partner country without proper consideration and adaptation.
The program should never be perceived as promoting Norwegian commercial interests, and the responsibility for decisions, chosen solutions and whether or not to implement such, lay entirely with the partnering country. In particular, this is valid for inspection, audit and negotiation-related activities.
Capacity building for national oil companies is limited to the governance part of the companies’ responsibilities. The Oil for Development program does not assist with contract negotiations, but may assist a country with preparations for such negotiations. In this context, it is also important to emphasise that Norway never engage nor take sides in international border disputes, and that Norwegian companies operate fully independent of the Norwegian Government and the Oil for Development programme.