The Ministry of Petroleum and Energy of the Republic of The Gambia (“MOPE”) responsible for administration and regulation of petroleum operations in The Gambia, is also mandated to grant licences for Petroleum Exploration, Development and Production, by the Petroleum Act, 2004.
The MOPE in 2017, initiated a process to licence open exploration blocks through a Licensing Round. Funding for the process was secured from the African Legal Support Facility and a multisectoral Committee was set up to assist MOPE manage the process. This Committee was supported by a Consortium of Law Firms, International Financial Consultants and Industry Technical Experts.
Following months of background work, the Licensing Round launched at an event held in London on the 10th November, 2017. It was attended by a high powered government delegation led by the Honorable Ministers of Petroleum and Energy, Justice and Secretary-General.
The event was also attended by a broad spectrum of International Oil Companies; Minors to Super Majors who were invited to submit interest through the Request for Information (RfI) on the 6th December, 2017. This invitation to submit RfI was publicized on both local and international media.
Government delegation with consultants at the launch of the licensing round London 10th November 2017. The Evaluation of RfI, by a team, was conducted during the week of 14th March 2018 and resulted in the shortlisting of International Oil Companies with the potential to undertake exploration work.
A Request for Proposal (RfP) was subsequently was launched in December 2018 and bids closed on the 4th February 2019. At this stage, companies were invited to make commercial and technical proposals based on the Model Petroleum Exploration Development and Production Licence Agreement (PEPLA).
Following the evaluation of BP’s bid, the bid was found to meet the government’s expectations and was invited for negotiations.
The negotiations began on the 11th March 2019 and lasted for over two months. It included two face-to-face meetings, numerous conference calls and email exchanges.
A licence with BP was signed on the 30th April, 2019 at the Ministry of Petroleum and Energy.
The licensing process was well structured, clear with over 40 deadlines set and met during the implementation.
Courtesy call on the President after signing with BP 30th April 2019
The Ministry during the review of the Model PEPLA, has anticipated publishing the licence once it is signed, therefore below is the A1, BP licence.
Reacting to the publication of the licence, the following comments were obtained from key government officials in the Sector.
Honorable Minister Fafa Sanyang, ‘The publication of the Licence is a testimony to the Ministry’s transparency, openness and accountability, which resides at the core of Government’s Petroleum policy.’
Permanent Secretary, Lamin Camara “The licence was developed through a thorough consultative process and it is the Ministry’s policy to oversee the implementation through a similar participatory approach.”
Commissioner for Petroleum, Jerreh Barrow ‘The licence set out BP’s commitments and obligations to be facilitated by Government agencies. Therefore for the licence to be meaningful, all parties need to effectively play their roles.’
Managing Director GNPC, Yaya Barrow ‘This licence has for the first time given the National Oil Company the opportunity to participate in licence implementation from day-one. This has numerous benefits that cannot be over-emphasized.’
Please do click on the link to read The Gambia Block A1 Licence - BP