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Geological field mapping along with available geological and drilling data suggest that Somaliland (Northwestern Somalia) has favorable stratigraphy and structure for coal deposits.


Mohamed Y. Ali

The Petroleum Institute, Khalifa University

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P.O. Box 2533, Abu Dhabi, UAE

E-mail: mali@pi.ac.ae

Abstract

Geological field mapping along with available geological and drilling data suggest that Somaliland (Northwestern Somalia) has favorable stratigraphy and structure for coal deposits. Lignitic to sub-bituminous coal deposits with ages from Jurassic to Oligocene-Miocene occur in various locations across the country including Hed-Hed valley south of Onkhor, Guveneh hills north of Las Dureh and Daban Basin southeast of Berbera. However, the coal occurrence at Hed-Hed has both the greatest thickness and highest quality.

These deposits have the potential to provide an important alternative fuel resource which could alleviate the growing shortage of traditional fuels and assist in reducing the country’s dependence on imported energy. However, further investigation, including drilling and laboratory analyses, still needs to be carried out, particularly on the Upper Cretaceous coal seams to evaluate the quality and resource potential of the deposits. [Received: October 4, 2008; Accepted: January 6, 2009]

Keywords: Somaliland; coal potential; bituminous coal; lignite; geology; Nubian (Yesomma) Sandstone; alternative fuel resource.

Reference to this paper should be made as follows: Ali, M.Y. (2009) ‘Geology and coal potential of Somaliland’, Int. J. Oil, Gas, and Coal Technology, Vol. 2, No. 2, pp.168–185.

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Biographical notes: Mohammed Y. Ali has a degree in Exploration Geology, MSc in Geophysics, Postgraduate Certificate in Education, and PhD in Marine Geophysics from Oxford University. His current research projects are focused on exploration geophysics in the areas of seismic processing, passive seismic, seismic stratigraphy and reservoir characterization and modeling. Other research interests include basin analysis, crustal studies and the structure of passive margins. He joined the Petroleum Institute in 2003 as an Assistant Professor of Geophysics, previous to which he had been a Researcher at Oxford University. He is a member of SEG, EAGE, and AGU.

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