Somalia in preliminary talks with oil majors to restart exploration

|By:, SA News Editor

Somalia's government says it is in talks with some of the world's biggest energy companies in an attempt to restart oil exploration in the war-torn east African country.

Somali officials have discussed having BP, Exxon Mobil (XOM), Royal Dutch Shell (RDS.A, [RDS.B]]), Chevron (CVX), ConocoPhillips (COP) and Eni (E) return after more than two decades of violence drove away major oil producers.

Shell says talks with the government "are of a preliminary and exploratory nature"; BP and Eni confirm having some discussions.

Somalia last year transitioned to its first permanent government in years and is trying to rebuild the economy with oil as a cornerstone.