PetroNor renews license offshore Gambia under amended terms

Oil and gas exploration and production company PetroNor has decided to exercise its right to continue with the petroleum, exploration, development and production license agreement (PEPLA) for the A4 license in The Gambia.

A4 licence off The Gambia; Source: PetroNor
Source: PetroNor

In mid-October, PetroNor announced that it had received a 30-day extension to the longstop date of the license option from the Government of The Gambia, and has now, following discussions with the government, made a positive decision.

PEPLA terms have been amended to allow the company to phase commitments via an extended Initial Exploration Period of three years which is split into two phases, each of 18 months. This is said to allow time for additional de-risking technical work prior to commitment to exploration drilling in the second phase.

According to PetroNor, the signature of the PEPLA commits the company to a signature bonus of $1 million and a minimum work program of $1.5 million in the first 18-month phase.

PetroNor will have the option to continue the license after the first phase and commit to drilling a well in the following 18-month phase.

“The PetroNor exploration team has been consistent and passionate advocates for the potential of this part of the Atlantic margin. It is the company’s strategy to form a strong partnership with others to explore the identified prospects,” said PetroNor’s Interim CEO, Jens Pace.

“Encouraging interest received from third parties has supported our discussions with the government of The Gambia to phase commitments and help make the license more attractive as a farm-in opportunity. It is our shared objective that these efforts will lead to a future drilling program.”

PetroNor has also signed a Joint Operating Agreement (JOA) with Gambia National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC) for the A4 Licence, which defines the operational boundaries of the relationship between the parties.

GNPC, as a government licensee, has been assigned a 10 per cent participating interest in the license.

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PetroNor in September 2020 announced a settlement agreement with The Gambia, resulting in the reinstatement of the A4 licence to PetroNor. The company was then granted a period of one year, ending 18 September 2021, to process data and progress farm-out discussions.

In October last year, PetroNor negotiated a one-year extension for the offshore license, which allowed it to progress farm-out discussions with potential partners.