A Turkish company says it will explore for oil in the breakaway republic of Somaliland beginning next year.
Tony Hayward, the CEO of Genel Energy
, met with Somaliland President Ahmed Mohamed Silanyo in Hargeisa on Tuesday to finalize the deal.
Speaking to reporters, Hayward outlined the company's plans.
"Through the course of next year we will conduct a major series of seismic programs, investing some $40 million, and we have a plan to drill the first well in the heart of the country in the middle of 2014," he said.
Hayward, a former chief of the British oil company BP, resigned after the huge of Gulf of Mexico oil spill in 2010. His venture firm merged with Genel last year.
Somaliland is not recognized by any other nation but has enjoyed relative peace and stability compared to Somalia, from which it broke away in 1991.
At least two other oil firms, Australia-based Jacka Resources and British-based Ophir Energy, have said they will explore for oil Somaliland.