Foday B. L. Mansaray, director general of Sierra Leone’s Petroleum Directorate, urged investors at the African Energy Chamber’s “Invest in African Energy Reception” in London on Thursday to make the most of the country’s upstream potential.
Sierra Leone is seeking to advance in its nascent oil and gas sector, offering over 63,000 square kilometers of highly prospective acreage, with which the Petroleum Directorate has invited investors to engage through block and technical data acquisition.
The West African country has a functioning petroleum system that has been bolstered by small-scale oil and gas discoveries such as Anadarko’s Venus-B1, Mercury-1, and Jupiter-1 wells and Lukoil’s Savannah-1X well. The country’s oil and gas exploration began nearly four decades ago with the drilling of two wildcat exploration wells, but was put on hold in 2015/2016.
Sierra Leone’s Petroleum Directorate, for its part, is charged with realizing the full potential of the country’s hydrocarbon resources by regulating the exploration and production of affordable, reliable, and cleaner energy throughout the country. Mansaray stated that Sierra Leone offers access to acreage, competitive fiscal conditions, a transparent and stable government, high quality data with reprocessing, and world-class conjugate discoveries in order to attract investors.
“The response from investors [to our fifth licensing round] has been excellent, which is one of the reasons we extended the deadline. We prefer to think of IOCs as partners rather than investors. We make an effort to integrate into their operations. We attempted to reduce red tape. “It currently takes 85 days from application to licensing,” Mansaray explained.
The Petroleum Directorate of Sierra Leone recently signed a cooperation agreement with Angola’s National Agency for Oil, Gas, and Biofuels, with the goal of establishing a shared commitment to promoting and intensifying collaboration in the oil and gas sector. The Memorandum of Understanding outlined opportunities for bilateral trade and investment; positioned oil and gas cooperation as mutually beneficial economically, technologically, socially, and environmentally for both countries; and reaffirmed Angola and Sierra Leone’s stronger economic, cultural, and social ties.