The African Petroleum Company in Profile
The African Petroleum is listed in the Norwegian smaller companies stock market the Oslo Axess (APCL), as an independent oil exploration currently holding an estimated license of 7.4 billion barrels across the West African coast, little less than half of which 100% in two blocks off The Gambian coast. African Petroleum focuses on the acquisition of licensing right in virgin oil fields and reselling these license to those who do the real exploration, spreading its risks and costs (African Petroleum, 2017).
The company is not related to any government as far as my research shows, as there is no mention of it anywhere with board of directors Norwegians, Australians and other Europeans. African Petroleum is involved in crude oil, natural gas mainly leasing the finery and delivery to other companies, operating in the uncharted waters of West Africa, Senegal, The Gambia, Ivory Coast and Sierra Leone (African Petroleum 2014), with its registered office in central London, UK.
Compared to other companies like Erin, which holds similar license in two of the 6 other blocks off the shores of The Gambia, which have been operating since early 1990s in Nigeria, African Petroleum is a newcomer starting less than 6 years of operation and therefore a much smaller company (Erin, 2017.
In the last few year, the oil and gas industry has seen a slow growth due to the drop in oil prices but the advance in technology meaning half of the investments needed previously for the same exploration and the large oil findings and expectations in The Gambia, especially, means more exciting times for this company and other third party players they want to engage in, converting their portfolio to a fantastic profit (African Petroleum, 2017).
In the last few months however, the company shares were tumbling in a free fall when Gambia and Senegal cancelled the license for lack of alleged not doing anything to start the explorations during the stipulated contract time, compared to Erin whose recent request to bring in partners have been agreed by The Gambian authorities.
Challenges and Successes
One of the biggest challenges for this company especially when operating in one of the largest prospects, i.e. The Gambia, was the reluctance of other collaborators who they rely on to do the actual drilling, to invest in The Gambia due to dictatorship there until 6 months ago, according to Farge E, 2017. With the drilling expected to start in all these countries that that African Petroleum holds license in, it will be a great profit for The Gambia when the great expectation seen in the neighbouring countries and adjacent blocks in the same country.
African Petroleum (2016) Corporate Update – The Gambia & Senegal [Online] 20 July 2017. Available from: http://www.africanpetroleum.com.au/system/files/press/AP%20Corporate%20Update-Gam%2BSen-FINAL.pdf. Accessed:01 August 2017
African Petroleum (2015) Operations - [Online] Available from: http://www.africanpetroleum.com.au/our-projects Accessed:01 August 2017
Erin (2017) Overview: [Online] Available from: http://www.erinenergy.com/about-us/history/default.aspx. Accessed:01 August 2017
Farge E., (2017) Gambia ends talks with African Petroleum, seeks new bidders: [Online] Available from: http://www.reuters.com/article/us-gambia-oil-idUSKBN19P1K3 Accessed:01 August 2017