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Comoros awards first oil exploration licence


NAIROBI — Comoros yesterday said it had awarded its first ever oil exploration and production licence to a privately-owned Kenya-based exploration company.

Countries in the east and Horn of Africa and others with coastlines along the Indian Ocean have become a hot spot for oil and gas exploration, spurred by new finds.

“The government of Comoros is pleased to award its first exploration and development licence to Bahari Resources Ltd,” Mohadji Fouad, vice-president of Comoros, told an oil, gas and energy conference in Kenya’s capital, Nairobi.

“The government is taking its first steps to develop its exploration strategy.”

The economy in the poor Indian Ocean archipelago relies chiefly on agriculture and fishing. It is the world’s largest producer of the essence ylang ylang and also exports vanilla and cloves.

Kenya announced on Monday its first oil discovery, saying it was found in the northern part of the country where Africa-focused British firm Tullow Oil Plc has been exploring for oil.

Neighbouring South Sudan, which split from Sudan in July under a 2005 peace deal that ended decades of civil war, is an oil producer, while commercial oil deposits were found in Uganda, and there are vast natural gas deposits in Tanzania and Mozambique. —Reuters

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