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About Us – Overview

In the beginning, Upstream Petroleum Operations were conducted under the Petroleum Exploration and Production ACT (PEPA) – 2001, which was enacted on 16th August 2001. This Act established the Petroleum Resources Unit (PRU) under the authority of the President to “represent the State exclusively in negotiations with interested parties for exploration, development or production of petroleum, to act on behalf of the State in petroleum agreements and to regulate the petroleum industry in Sierra Leone.”

Following the discovery of hydrocarbon condensates in the Venus B-1 well in September 2009, H.E. the President, Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma set up a Presidential Task Force with mandate to review petroleum activities in the country and restructure the PRU. It was envisaged that this move would enable the PRU meet the emerging challenges, given the dynamic nature of the industry and the developmental trends in petroleum exploration in the country and sub-region at large. Accordingly, the Taskforce together with a Petroleum Advisory Group (comprising of NORAD, the Commonwealth, Revenue Watch Institute (now Resource Governance Institute) and African Centre for Economic Transformation (ACET)) commenced a painstaking process of reviewing the PEPA 2001 through the development of a robust Petroleum Policy, which proposed a set of guiding principles aimed at addressing the issues involved with exploring and exploiting the country’s petroleum resources. The main objective at this point was to align the new legislation with the guiding principles of the Petroleum Policy.

The Petroleum Policy, 2010 was accepted by cabinet in July 2010, culminating in the drafting of a new Petroleum Bill. The new Petroleum Bill subsequently became law on 25th July 2011 – The Petroleum Exploration and Production ACT (PEPA), 2011.  The PEPA 2011 established the Petroleum Directorate as successor to the PRU. The Petroleum Directorate coordinates the award of Petroleum Licenses, negotiates the terms of all Petroleum Licenses, monitors, regulates and facilitates upstream petroleum activities on behalf of the State; and develops regulations for the upstream petroleum sector throughout the entire Petroleum Value Chain. Full details of our core functions and mandate can be found here.


Our Mission is to: “facilitate the optimal exploration and development of Sierra Leone’s Potential Petroleum Resources for the long term benefit of its people, through the development of  regulatory guidelines and monitoring contract compliance, having due regard  for the economy, the environment,  safety,  technology, as well as balancing the interests of the nation and investor”.



The Petroleum Directorate’s Vision is: “To become a functionally and fiscally independent high-reliability regulatory agency capable of delivering its mission in a sustained way”.