A company headed by a prominent British politician won highly favorable terms in a 2013 oil-exploration deal with Somalia, according to a government-commissioned review of the contract, raising questions about payments the firm made to the Somali government and one of its advisers.
The confidential February report, commissioned by the Somali government and viewed by The Wall Street Journal, is the first indication that terms of a deal with U.K.-based Soma Oil & Gas have raised concerns within the Somali government.
The deal was also the subject of a separate United Nations report leaked to reporters this month, which questioned the propriety of payments to Somali officials by Soma, a privately owned oil explorer whose chairman is Michael Howard. Mr. Howard is a member of the House of Lords, Britain’s upper parliamentary chamber, and was the leader of the Conservative Party from 2003 to 2005, when it was in opposition.
The original article can be found at www.wsj.com