The Gambian Ministry of Petroleum and Energy opens mini-licensing round for block A1
The Gambian Ministry of Petroleum and Energy announced it will be opening a mini-licensing round for Block A1 at Africa Oil Week on 8 November 2021, following the success of the licensing round for drill sites in 2018. Granted initially to BP in 2019, Block A1 became available in August this year after the company exited the site. This is part of BP's company strategy to pivot from producing resources to integrating energy.
In a statement issued by BP, the company said returning the license had nothing to do with the geology and perspectivity or the support from the Gambian government and added that it was impressed with the level of commitment and organization and collaboration by the Government of the Gambia. BP did perform the required work obligations, including acquiring and reprocessing 2D and 3D data, conducting environmental impact assessment, geohazard, geology and geophysical studies that matured prospects into drill-readiness.
Fafa Sanyang, Minister of Petroleum and Energy, The Gambia: "The Government wishes to seize this opportunity to thank BP for their interest and strong collaboration during the past two years that they have worked in the Gambia and wished them good luck in their new strategy focus, hoping to work with them in the future in some other ways. We are acutely aware of the impact of the energy transition on frontier oil and gas markets such as The Gambia. At the end of the well prepared and fast-tracked licensing round process, we look to enter a successful partnership that works for both the Government and the international partner to extract the petroleum wealth in our country with conditions reflective of the changed reality."
The Ministry is working with legal, technical and financial advisors to assist them in designing the licensing round's commercial and fiscal framework that considers the current market environment and creates value for the people of The Gambia.
The 2021 licensing round will be based on the same principles of transparency and legitimacy established in the 2018 licensing round. But, to expedite the exploration started by BP, the Ministry has expressed an interest in closing the licensing round as soon as possible. Details of the structure and timelines will be provided during the Africa Oil Week and related publications.
Jerreh Barrow, Commissioner for Petroleum, The Gambia: "Following our previous success in implementing the 2018 licensing round, we believe that launching a mini-licensing round for A1 will ensure the greatest transparency, legitimacy and competition. The multi-disciplined government team that was involved in the first licensing round will also be involved in this licensing round and has built up huge capacity over the last few years working closely alongside BP and our legal, technical and financial advisors."