Africa Oil & Gas: African Petroleum Departs Sierra Leone

African Petroleum determined that it will relinquish its interests in Sierra Leone’s SL-03-17 and SL-4A-17 licenses with immediate effect.

The relinquishment of the licenses is a result of the decision to not commit to an ultra-deepwater drilling program and follows a period of discussion with the Petroleum Directorate of Sierra Leone, during which the parties failed to agree on an extension to the licenses with suitable terms.

Commenting on the update, CEO Jens Pace said: “The relinquishment of the blocks is a result of the company’s election to not commit to drilling an ultra-deep water well at this time, one that would set a world record water depth. Instead, we must focus our attention on areas where we see the best chances of value creation for our shareholders. Despite our efforts to progress our technical work program and secure partners for the Sierra Leone blocks, it has become apparent that the industry appetite does not currently exist for ultra-deepwater exploration in this part of the African margin. Although it is disappointing to walk away from a technically interesting area, the outcome relieves us of onerous future cost commitments associated with these assets which I believe is the right course of action for the company.”

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