African Petroleum getting ready for arbitration over Gambian licenses issue

African Petroleum, an independent oil and gas company, is preparing to launch an arbitration against the government of The Gambia over the A1 and A4 offshore licences. 

African Petroleum’s problem with these two offshore licenses emerged in July when the government of The Gambia said it had ended talks with the company for the extension of exploration rights over these two blocks. Prior to the alleged expiry and termination of licenses, AP had a 100 percent operated working interest in offshore licenses A1 and A4.

AP refuted the claims several times while expecting a formal feedback from the government on the status of licenses. The feedback was initially due to arrive by early August. As no word from the government came by that time, the company continued to await feedback throughout August but to no avail.

On Monday, September 4 the company confirmed that it had not received any feedback, formal or otherwise, from the government of The Gambia “despite its best efforts to engage in dialogue with the relevant authorities.”

As a result, the company is preparing to formally start arbitration.

Commenting on the update, CEO Jens Pace, said: “It is a matter of regret that it has come to this; however, we are confident in our legal position and have made great efforts to proactively engage in sensible dialogue with the relevant authorities.

“Previous assurances that we would receive feedback during the month of August do not seem to have been followed up. We now believe that in order to protect our historical investment, we have no choice but to take this case to arbitration. We remain open to progressive dialogue and sensible resolutions with the Gambian authorities but must proactively seek to protect our rights through this process.”

Offshore Energy Today Staff