Gambia has opened bids for oil exploration of its offshore blocks, including those that were being explored by African Petroleum, confirming it will not be having its licenses renewed.
The A1, A3, A4 and A6 are open for licensing, according to the government spokesperson, Amie Bojang-Sissohore. The A1 and A4 were explored by African Petroleum before their licenses expired.
The government said it is not considering the option to renew African Petroleum’s licenses after it failed to fulfill its commitment. Africa Petroleum’s chief executive met President Adama Barrow following the revocation.
African Petroleum shares tumbled when news broke out that Gambia’s oil minister, Fafa Sanyang ended talks to have their licenses renewed.
Sanyang said the government took back the exploration, development and production licenses of three oil firms for failing to meet their contractual obligations as provided by its petroleum laws.
President Barrow has been briefed on petroleum exploration and production of licenses by Mr. Sanyang following the discovery of more oil and gas in neighboring Senegal.
Gambia has been hard at work trying to revive its oil sector. It gave exploration and production licenses to FAR and Erin Energy, the companies that have been registered successes in Senegal.
There has been oil prospecting in The Gambia since the mid‑1950s, but few projects have progressed from the initial study phase. Chevron, a US oil major, drilled an offshore well in 1979, but this proved unsuccessful.