Researches have shown that Sierra Leone has a proven hydrocarbon system and the success of the sector will be largely contingent on global, politics, economics, sub-surface realities and market condition of the country.
Speaking during the launch, Director General of Petroleum Directorate Sierra Leone, Timothy Kabba said the Directorate has been embarking on industrial engagement and consultation about its strategy.
Mr. Kabba went on to say the Directorate reached a conclusion of a re-launch of the Round in April this year, citing that himself and cross section of the PDSL participated in the American Association of Petroleum Geologists San Antonio USA were they formally re-launched the Round to the audience of international oil and gas company.
Mr. Kabba added that they are now looking beyond the five exploration blocks for international tendering in 2018, stating that the Directorate has decided to adopt competitive method in awarding exportation licensees known as the New Hybrid System of issuing exploration licenses to verifiably competent oil and gas companies.
“The Hybrid method considers the difficulties, risks and immaterialities associated with exploration offshore; some of these risks involve high technology application, huge capital investment, better knowledge of the Geology of Sierra Leone and regulatory challenges” Mr. Kabba said.
The Directorate according to him has now considered expanding the licenses round to cover the entire country basin of about 402 kilometers, adding that they have decided to look at the Ultra-deep Water Area of the basin with below water depth of 2,500 meters for competent oil and gas companies.
He furthered that the open tender process which is focused on shallow water will run for six months and will provide the opportunity for a broad range of companies to apply while the direct tender will run for four months.