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Sierra Leone News: African Petroleum relinquishes Sierra Leone blocks

The oil and gas exploration company African Petroleum will relinquish its interests in its two operated licenses (SL-03-17 and SL-4A-17) in Sierra Leone, according to the company’s press release. African Petroleum CEO Jens Pace said, “The relinquishment of the blocks is a result of the company’s election to not commit to drilling ultra-deep water well at this time, one that would set a world record water depth. Instead, we must focus our attention on areas where we see the best chances of value creation for our shareholders.” This follows a period of discussion with the petroleum directorate of Sierra Leone, during which the parties failed to agree on an extension to the licenses on suitable terms. “Despite our efforts to progress our technical work program and secure partners for the Sierra Leone blocks, it has become apparent that the industry appetite does not currently exist for ultra-deep water exploration in this part of the African margin,” he added. “Although it is disappointing to walk away from a technically interesting area, the outcome relieves us of onerous future cost commitments associated with these assets which I believe is the right course of action for the company,” Pace concluded. In September this year Head of the Petroleum Directorate, Timothy Kabba, said the country had suspended its fourth licensing round for hydrocarbon exploration citing poor timing of the round’s initial launch.

By Ophaniel Gooding

Wednesday November 28, 2018.


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