Following the successful conclusion of the extensive industry consultations, the Petroleum Directorate is about to resume the Fourth Petroleum Licensing Round originally launched in January 2018, and eventually extended to September 2018 but later put on hold pending the said consultations.
In collaboration with a key technical partner ERCL, the Directorate has finalized plans to re-activate the nation’s Fourth Petroleum Licensing Round which is attracting key International oil corporations-both majors and small independents.
Given the interest so far generated on the basis of the scope and frequency of inquiries, it would be safe to project that the impending Licensing Round will become one of the most successful Licensing Rounds the country has ever organized. It is hoped that the momentum will be sustained.
The Petroleum Directorate Sierra Leone (PDSL) has recently participated in the 25th Africa Oil Week held from 5th to 9th November 2018 at the International Convention Centre in Cape Town, South Africa.
A five-man delegation led by the Director General, Mr. Timothy Kabba continued industry consultation with stakeholders with the aim of attracting high quality oil and gas companies that will stimulate investment into the sector and deliver on the Government’s commitment to developing its natural resources for sustainable development. In line with the PDSL’s strategy for an expanded dialogue, the PDSL held meetings with several companies who have shown an interest in exploring for oil and gas in Sierra Leone, as well as companies that have previously operated in Sierra Leone.
During the conference, Mr Kabba also participated in a high-level governmental panel discussion on the topic “Developing robust national roadmaps for future success: Opportunities and strategies”. Whilst giving his perspective on the role of a national oil company/regulatory agency, Mr Kabba opined that the setting up of a national oil company/regulatory agency should largely depend on the stage of operations in the petroleum value chain. He explained the PDSL’s strategy, which is to take advantage of the current timing and continue building a strong human capacity in order to face the challenges that would arise if commerciality (oil or gas in commercial quantities) is declared. Mr. Kabba said that based on PDSL’s current capacity building initiatives, it is well placed to promote opportunities available and facilitate investment security for potential stakeholders.
On building partnerships, the Director General commented that building relationships through contracts that Government signs with investors presents long-lasting partnerships that can be used to the PDSL’s advantage. He noted that Sierra Leone is endowed with natural resources but has no financial capital to undertake investment to develop these resources. A key approach therefore for building the right partnership was to understand what is required from a partner and create a scenario that strikes a balance between creating returns for the investor without compromising the intention of government to create wealth and better lives for the citizenry.
In another engagement, a member of the delegation Mr. Mustapha Tarawally, also gave a presentation on “Oil and Gas Opportunities in Sierra Leone” at the highly technical “Prospects Forum” at the Africa Oil Week. In his presentation, Mr. Tarawally showcased Sierra Leone’s petroleum potential by providing insights into the regional geology underpinnings and working petroleum systems that have driven exploration activities to date, deep and shallow water prospectivity, open acreages and the technical data available for licensing. Mr. Tarawally also showcased the in-house technical interpretation that was conducted by the PDSL in collaboration with its technical partners ERCL, which has led to the development of a new narrative that is now being presented to prospective oil and gas companies. The PDSL also informed the audience about the data room in Sierra Leone that can be visited by oil and gas companies in order to access high quality 2D and 3D seismic data, well data, as well as numerous technical reports.
The Africa Oil Week is a premier event bringing together key stakeholders in Africa’s upstream oil and gas market, thereby providing a platform wherein governments, national oil companies, investors, independents and financiers can discuss and share knowledge aimed at shaping the continent’s future on the exploration, development and production of hydrocarbons across established basins and frontier countries.
This year’s event saw the participation of over twenty (20) national oil companies, ministries and regulatory agencies sharing their strategies for growth, increased collaboration and participation in the upstream oil and gas sector, as well as announcing bid rounds, open acreage and newly acquired data.
In August 2018 Mr Timothy Kabba was appointed as Director General
of the Sierra Leone Petroleum Directorate. Mr Kabba brings fresh perspectives to the current Fourth Sierra Leone Licensing Round and in step with the Government’s New Direction initiative, he has decided to expand the dialogue and enter a period of industry consultation.
This consultation process is expected to last for up to 6 months and requires the temporary suspension of the ongoing Fourth Licensing Round.
Mr. Timothy Kabba, Director General of the Sierra Leone Petroleum Directorate commented: “The Republic of Sierra Leone is committed to attracting long-term investment through the development of its natural resources. The Petroleum Directorat
e’s mission is to deliver this investment through a process that creates maximum value for both the investor and the country’s people. I look forward to meeting with the industry during this important consultation process”
Jonathan Copus, CEO of the Getech Group commented: “The offshore waters of Sierra Leone contain proven petroleum systems and the country’s Fourth Licensing Round has generated significant levels of interest. This has led to a busy and wide-ranging dialogue with a variety of high-quality international oil and gas companies. Through a process of consultation, the staff of the Petroleum Directorate and Getech will work in partnership to narrow and focus the License Round conversation – the shared goal being the successful conclusion of that Round.”