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.

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