Sierra Leone Invites Investors to Engage in Licensing Round at Invest in African Energy Reception

The West African nation launched its fifth petroleum licensing round last May, with a view to bringing in new investors to explore and develop its frontier acreage.
Foday b

Director General of the Petroleum Directorate of Sierra Leone, Foday B. L. Mansaray, implored investors to maximize the country’s upstream potential during the Invest in African Energy reception in London on Thursday, organized by the African Energy Chamber{} . Having launched its fifth licensing round last May, Sierra Leone is seeking to advance in its nascent oil and gas sector, offering over 63,000 square kilometers of highly prospective acreage, with which the Petroleum Directorate has invited investors to engage through block and technical data acquisition. 

The West African country is home to a working petroleum system that was supported by small-scale oil and gas discoveries, including the Venus-B1, Mercury-1 and Jupiter-1 wells by Anadarko and the Savannah-1X well by Lukoil. Oil and gas exploration in the country began nearly four decades ago with the drilling of two wildcat exploration wells, but was put on pause around 2015/2016.

For its part, Sierra Leone’s Petroleum Directorate operates under the mandate to unlock the full potential of its national hydrocarbon resources, regulating the exploration and production of affordable, reliable and cleaner energy across Sierra Leone. In a bid to attract investors, Mansaray stated that Sierra Leone offers access to acreage, competitive fiscal conditions, a transparent and stable government, high quality data with reprocessing and world-class conjugate discoveries. 

“The response from investors [to our fifth licensing round] has been excellent and is part of the reason we extended the deadline. We like to think of IOCs as partners and not investors. We try to integrate into their operations. We’ve tried to eliminate the red tape. It currently takes 85 days from application to licensing,” stated Mansaray.

Sierra Leone’s Petroleum Directorate recently signed a cooperation agreement with Angola’s National Agency for Oil, Gas and Biofuels, with a view to establishing a shared commitment to promoting and intensifying collaboration across the oil and gas sector. The Memorandum of Understanding served to outline opportunities for bilateral trade and investment; position oil and gas cooperation as mutually beneficial economically, technologically, socially and environmentally for both countries; and reaffirm stronger economic, cultural and social ties between Angola and Sierra Leone.

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