Offshore: It is
believed that The Gambia has good prospectivity for hydrocarbons
(Deepwater PPL Gambia). The area marks the northern extent of
the Casamance-Bissau sub-basin which forms part of the Mauritania
- Senegal - Gambia - Guinea Bissau coastal basin. It is characterised
by prominent halokinetic strata deformation and there are proven
petroleum systems in the
Although a non-oil producing nation, The Gambia has legislation,
the Petroleum Act (2004), on the upstream petroleum sector. The
objective of the Act is to ensure the efficient administration
and management of the country’s hydrocarbon resources for the
maximum benefit of The Gambia people. There are a number of petroleum
companies involved in the retail of liquid fuels for vehicles
via fuelling stations:
Galp Energia Gambia Ltd
Elton Oil Ltd
Castle Oil Ltd.
Gambia National Petroleum Co.
Jah Oil Co.
Sandalee Oil & Trading
All petroleum products consumed in The Gambia are imported. Unlike
the upstream, the downstream lacks a coherent legislation. Government’s
interest is revenue bias and DOSFEA and the Customs Department
play major roles in this aspect.
The Gambia National Petroleum Company
(GNPC) is a recent entrant into the petroleum scene. The company
is mandated to participate in the upstream and downstream operations
in the sub-sector sector on the same terms as any oil company.
Imports & Consumption:
The Gambia is heavily dependent on imports to meet its petroleum
requirements. Petroleum products consumed in the Gambia is all
imported. It is the second most important source of energy in
the country, after fuel wood, accounting for about 17% of total
primary energy needs according to the 2004 energy balance. The
petroleum requirements of the country consist of gasoline (regular
and premium), kerosene, diesel oil (gasoil), LPG and jet fuel.
The consumption of liquid products grew from 86,974 metric tons
in 2000 to 108,470 metric tons in 2004. Only 5% of imported kerosene
is use in households as a source of lighting. There has been a
steady growth in the demand for all fuels including Heavy Fuel
Oil, gasoline and diesel. The main petroleum consuming sectors
are electricity generation, transport, and construction. The Gambia
is heavily dependent on imports to meet its requirements of petroleum
derivatives, including the importation of diesel fuel for generating
electricity. In 2004 The Gambia imported 113 million litres of
Petroleum products are used for transportation (diesel and petrol),
some diesel and gasoline is also used in privately own generation
and some diesel is use for power generation at the various power
stations by the utility company. HFO is used almost exclusively
by the national utility for power generation.
The main petroleum products of direct household energy use are
kerosene and LPG. Kerosene has been used as household energy for
lighting over many years. Its share of household energy balance
is quite small with bulk of the fuel is consumed by rural households.
Kerosene is a subsidized fuel. LPG is also a subsidized fuel as
there are no import taxes on this energy source so as to encourage
its use. Greater percentage of this fuel is consumed in the urban
The Gambia, like most oil importing countries, is susceptible
to any exogenous shocks such as price increases in world oil prices.
Any increases in external costs translate directly to higher importation
costs and as a result higher prices at the pump. Taking into account
Government taxes, any further increase in world oil price will
lead to an erosion of the gains in the country’s development efforts.
Buried Hill Background in Gambia
In 2006, Buried Hill Energy signed licenses for two deepwater
exploration blocks, offshore The Gambia. These blocks provide
over 2,600 square kilometres of high-quality exploration acreage.
Buried Hill Energy will initiate exploration drilling in 2008.
The Alhamdulilah A1 and A4 Blocks were comprehensively evaluated
by Buried Hill Energy. Its analysis, which made use of state-of-the
art, high-resolution 3D seismic imaging technology, has identified
at least five play fairways and an inventory of over 22 prospects
and leads, in what was traditionally seen as a low-prospectivity
Source: Buried Hill website
(Buried Hill Energy (Cyprus) Public Company Limited is an international
oil and gas exploration company focused on West Africa and Central
The Government of Gambia issued two licenses to Buried Hill Energy
a Canadian company for the exploration and production of oil and
gas prospect in the offshore areas. President Yahya Jammeh, who
is responsible for energy signed the licenses while Roger Haines
signed on behalf of Buried Hill Energy.
Speaking on behalf of President Jammeh shortly after the signing
ceremony held at Basse, Edward Singhateh SOS for Forestry and
Environment said the licenses which have been signed is a petroleum
exploration and production licenses for two blocks namely A1 and
A4 for the offshore exploration and drilling of wells and most
likely the final production of petroleum in Gambia.
"This is the first step towards turning Gambia into a city
state as promised by President Jammeh".
He said the BHE company has been chosen to come on board "our
socio-economic development our country. Since he has confidence
in you so do we. "We will do everything within our responsibilities
to ensure not do you have a successful implementation of your
project but you also meet the aspiration of Gambian people".
For his part, Roger Haines the CEO of BHE thanked President Jammeh
for choosing them out of the lot for the exploration of oil in
"I want to assure the Government that BHE
will measure to exploration as signed".
Speaking earlier on, Mr Fafa Sanyang, Commissioner of Petroleum
exploration said the signing of these licenses will send a positive
signal to oil companies. It will as well attract more investors
in the petroleum sector in Gambia.
Siaka Camara Managing Director of Gambia National Petroleum Company
thanked President Jammeh for having the foresight and wisdom to
take the lead promoting the frontiers of research for oil and
gas prospects in Gambia.
Source: Progressive Africans - 27-09-06