UN: Western oil exploration could threaten Somalias stability

A recent report from the United Nations Monitoring Group found that Western commercial oil exploration in certain areas of Somalia could lead to an upset in the country's stability, as reported by Reuters. This is because there are discrepancies in Somali laws regulating the distribution of natural resources like oil. 

In particular, the country's constitution gives regional governments most of the control over commercial oil deals, but a developing petroleum law being followed by federal officials in the capital says the central government has power over the natural resources.

As such, experts believe these inconsistencies could result in major political issues in Somalia, which could further upset clan relations and ultimately lead to problems of peace and security, according to Reuters. 

International investors' focus has been on eastern Africa since the area entered a major energy boom, Fox News reported. Somalia was keen to get in on the oil action, but it now seems that would hurt the country more than it would help it.

"It is alarming that regional security forces and armed groups may clash to protect and further Western-based oil companies' interests," the UN report said.

So far, it is unclear how these findings will affect Western oil exploration in Somalia.

More information on oil exploration can be found at PennEnergy's research area.

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