By Sheriff Saidykhan
The Government of The Gambia through the Ministry of Petroleum has on Saturday 19th, September 2020 signed oil exploration deal with the international oil giant PetroNor (PN).
The A4 Block agreement with PetroNor is based on the oil exploration in the country, for the duration of 30 years.
The percentage of the exploration agreement for the Gambia Government was not disclosed to journalists.
Speaking to press at the signing ceremony held at Petroleum House in Brusubi, the Honourable Minister for Petroleum Fafa Sanyang, said the A4 Licence Petroleum exploration with PetroNor brought an end to the three years arbitration proceedings by African Petroleum against the Gambia at the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID).
“We mobilized senior staff from our Ministry and the Ministry of Justice to team up with highly experienced international Lawyers to defend the cases filed against The Gambia. After three years of intensive legal battles, settlement discussions commenced last year with PetroNor, an Oslo Axess stock market listed oil and gas Exploration Company which took over ownership of African Petroleum” said Minister Fafa Sanyang.
On 17 October 2017, African Petroleum (AP) and it’s subsidiary filed arbitration proceedings at the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID).
The Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Dawda A. Jallow, expressed delight and gratitude to two international Law firms headed by Omnia Strategy and Edi Faal and Associates for their untiring support, during the intensive legal battle against African Petroleum.
Edi M.O. Faal and Associates, a Law firm that defended Gambia’s case lauded the Gambia Government for their tireless contribution to the Ministry of Petroleum, against African Petroleum during the arbitration proceedings.
He said the oil exploration agreement with PetroNor if found, would significantly contribute to the socio-economic advancement of the country.
“The primary objective under the License is for PetroNor to engage in the oil exploration in an area that has been demarcated and identify which is the A4 Block. If oil is found in that particular Block, it’s benefits would be obvious for the socio-economic development of the country” he posits.