January 19, 2018 By Mohamed Massaquoi
Director General of the Sierra Leone Petroleum Directorate (PDSL) will be officially launching its Fourth Licensing Round on the 25th January, 2018, at the Geological Society of London to attract investors in the oil and gas business into the country.
That disclosure was made yesterday during the regular press briefing at the Ministry of Information and Communications conference room in Freetown.
The PDSL and its partners-the Getech Group , through its wholly owned subsidiary -invited the wider International Oil and Gas community to participate in the Licensing round.
PDSL Director, Raymond Saidu Kargbo, said an official announcement was made last week at the Africa Oil Week Conference in Cape Town, South Africa, that his country’s Fourth Offshore Petroleum Licensing Round will take place in London.
He said a lot of work has been done over the years to collect data and other relevant information regarding oil drilling in the country, adding that they are in the process of reviewing the laws to keep to international standards.
He added that oil and gas exploration in Sierra Leone has had a very short history- as it all started in the mid 1980’s with two wildcats exploration drilled by Mobil and Amoco in 1984 and 1985 respectively.
However, it is widely reported that four companies relinquished their oil exploration blocks in Sierra Leone due to none commercial viability of the blocks.
He said Talisman, LukOil, ANADAKO and other companies relinquished their blocks after several explorations proved to be commercially not viable for mining.
So far, he said, only Africa Petroleum and European Hydro Carbon are having oil blocks where they are still continuing their exploration activities across the country.
Meanwhile, some Sierra Leoneans have raised concerns that government has not openly explained as to how taxes on the exploration of oil and gas are been expended.
A good number of them are also concerned that government should not be in haste to engage more companies in oil exploration at the moment considering the fact that the country will be going into an election some two months from now.