The Gambia’s A1 Offshore Block is up for Licensing after BP’s Penalty Payment

Only days after BP agreed to a $29.3 million penalty for failing to complete its drilling requirements in the block, the Gambia’s A1 offshore block is once again up for licencing. The A1 offshore block was granted to BP two years ago. BP announced at the time that it will first conduct an environmental impact […]
Publish Date
17th August 2021
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2 minutes

Only days after BP agreed to a $29.3 million penalty for failing to complete its drilling requirements in the block, the Gambia’s A1 offshore block is once again up for licencing.

The A1 offshore block was granted to BP two years ago. BP announced at the time that it will first conduct an environmental impact assessment before drilling, exploring, and developing the first well for two years.

Since the effective date of July 2019, BP has been completing the essential pre-drilling procedures and obligations in preparation for drilling an exploration well. BP obtained and reprocessed 2D and 3D data, as well as conducting an environmental impact assessment.

The commitment to drill an exploration well, on the other hand, remained unwavering. Due to Covid-19, BP postponed plans to drill a well before the end of the year in early 2020.

Due to a shift in its corporate strategy toward low-carbon energy, the oil company informed the Ministry in July 2020 that it would not be able to drill a well in the A1 Block. BP agreed to settle a $29.3 million overdue obligation last week since it did not drill the well in Gambia’s offshore A1 block.

In a statement, the Ministry said: “The Government wishes to seize this opportunity to thank BP for the collaboration in amicably settling the matter and wish them good luck in their new strategy focus, hoping to work with them in the future in some other ways.”

The block, alongside block A4, was previously owned by African Petroleum. In 2017, the Gambian government announced that it has terminated talks with the company to extend exploration rights over these two blocks, thus stripping the company of its rights in the blocks.

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