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Kenya And Somalia Reportedly Agree To Share Oil Revenues From Disputed Area

Kenya-somalia Maritime border
Disputed Kenya-somalia Maritime border. [PHOTO/ COURTESY]

Kenya and Somalia have reportedly agreed to equally share oil revenues from oil-rich disputed area at the Indian Ocean.

According to reports, the agreement was brokered by Qatar which bought some oil blocks issued by Kenya from Italian oil company Eni two years ago.

Eni alongside Total own at least 25 percent of blocks L11A, L11B and L12 offshore blocks in Lamu, which are not part of the disputed triangle.

Total bought a 40 percent stake in blocks L5, L7, LILA, L1 lb and LI2 from Anadarko Kenya Co, Dynamic Global Advisors and Cove Energy Plc.

Currently, Total has 41.3 percent stake in the blocks while Eni has 33.8 percent stake. Qatar bought at least 15,000 square feet with depth ranging from 1,000 metres to 3,000 metres.

Kenya and Somalia have been in a dispute over which direction the two countries’ border extends into the Indian Ocean.

According to Somalia, the maritime boundary should continue on in the same direction as the land border’s southeasterly path.

On the other hand, Kenya believes that the border should take a roughly 45-degree turn at the shoreline and run in a latitudinal line.

Read: Kenya-Somalia Maritime Border Wars Escalate As Arab Parliament Issues Warning To Kenya

Somalia filed a case at ICJ on August 28, 2014, arguing that diplomatic negotiations have failed to resolve this disagreement.

Somalia requested the Court “to determine, on the basis of international law, the complete course of the single maritime boundary dividing all the maritime areas appertaining to Somalia and to Kenya in the Indian Ocean, including the continental shelf beyond 200 [nautical miles]”.

Somalia further asked the Court “to determine the precise geographical co-ordinates of the single maritime boundary in the Indian Ocean”.

It is not clear if the ICJ will drop the case following the agreement between the two countries, which recently restored diplomatic ties after Qatar intervention.

In March, Kenya withdrew from the maritime border case with Somalia, after ICJ refused to postpone the public hearings after Kenya protested a missing map crucial to the case.

“Kenya will be unable to defend itself fairly, fully and transparently if the scheduled hearing proceeded by video link,” Attorney-General Kihara Kariuki said in a letter to ICJ dated January 28.

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Written by Francis Muli

Follow me on Twitter @francismuli_. Email francis@kahawatungu.com

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