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GAMBIA EXPLORER CLAIMS FARM-IN INTEREST

A small Oslo-listed but London-based independent present offshore Gambia says it has signed a letter of intent (LOI) to farm out part of its 100% interest in the country’s offshore deepwater licences A1 and A4. However, its current licence period is set to expire September 1 2016.

African Petroleum Corporation said August 31 it signed the LOI with “an undisclosed international E&P company” and that it represents a non-binding commercial proposal about the “possible acquisition of interests” in the two blocks, in which APC currently is operator. However it said the LOI is conditional on APC confirming an extension of its exploration period by at least 12 months from the Gambian government.

African Petroleum Corp's two licences are shown in yellow; to the north are Cairn's six successful discoveries offshore northern Senegal (Map credit: APC) 

Licence A1 borders two of the three offshore northern Senegal licences where UK independent Cairn Energy, now working with Woodside, has recently discovered significant oil and gas volumes.  

Since 2012 Houston-based Erin Energy has held Gambian offshore licences A2 and A5, which are adjacent to APC’s blocks. Gambia also has two shallow water blocks A3 and A6 near to its coast, believed to be open. It has been little explored, but lies sandwiched between northern and southern Senegalese waters which lately have attracted more exploration.

When A1 and A4 were reinstated by Gambia in 2014 with APC after a dispute, it undertook to drill at least one exploration well and conduct 3D seismic on part of its acreage. Its website confirms that it conducted a major 3D seismic survey covering 2,500km². A spokesman confirmed that it has yet to drill a well. As at August 31, APC – which has no connection to Lundin-owned Africa Oil Corporation – said it had ten licences in five West African countries.

Mark Smedley

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