African Petroleum’s rights to explore in two offshore Gambian oil blocks have expired and are currently ‘open for licensing’, presidential spokeswoman Amie Bojang said on Monday.
The comments came after a statement from the Oslo-listed firm earlier in the day, saying it was prepared to launch legal proceedings to defend its rights to the blocks in early September if it did not receive positive news from the government.
The A1 and A4 oil blocks are thought to contain up to 3 billion barrels of oil and are adjacent to licenses in neighboring Senegal where large discoveries have been made.
Shares in African Petroleum closed down 11.48 percent on Tuesday, lagging a flat Oslo benchmark index.
Gambian oil officials first told Reuters in July that they did not plan to extend the firm’s exploration rights, citing a failure to meet its commitments.
But African Petroleum says it maintains the legal rights to the blocks and Chief Executive Jens Pace has since held talks with President Adama Barrow, who replaced long-ruling Yahya Jammeh in January, in an attempt to resolve the disagreement.
African Petroleum provided an update today regarding the A1 and A4 licences in The Gambia, confirming that it is yet to receive any formal feedback from the Gambian authorities regarding the status of its A1 and A4 licences. (Source: Reuters)