15 January 2014, Banjul – In the 2013 Budget Speech, the Minister of Finance informed the Gambian public that The Government of the Gambia continues to promote petroleum exploration, development and production. According to him, two new petroleum offshore licenses, A2 N and A5 were signed in May 2012, thus bringing the total number of offshore blocks licensed to four. Meanwhile, Government continues to closely work with and facilitate the implementation of the A1 and A4 licenses awarded to African Petroleum Company (APC).
In the 2014 budget Speech there is no mention of petroleum exploration, development and production. Many people are therefore surprise by the following press release: Gambia terminates petroleum exploration licenses of companies The government of The Gambia, acting in accordance with the provisions of the petroleum laws of
The Gambia has terminated petroleum exploration, development and production licenses due to “failure to meet the licence obligations by the licensees, a press release from the presidency has announced Monday. The following Petroleum licenses, according to the release are; Offshore Blocks A1 and A4 licensed to African Petroleum Gambia Limited and Buried Hill Gambia B.V. as partners; Onshore Block Lower River licensed to Oranto Petroleum Limited. “These Licenses have been terminated with immediate effect. The Gambia government will not allow any institution to acquire licenses only to keep them for speculation.
In our bid to harness our natural resources for the benefit of Gambians, we are not going to deal with speculators,” it concluded. People want to know the current state or true prospects of petroleum exploration, development and production in the country and which companies are in charge. Announcing the cancellation of licenses is not enough.
– Ousman Njie, Foroya Newspaper