APCL/Gambia; The deal we know

The Deal We Know? (Artikkelen inneholder også flere illustrasjoner, så jeg anbefaler å lese orginalen).

An Australian company, FAR Ltd, announced in late August that they will commence oil exploration offshore The Gambia’s coast in early quarter four 2018, however, Gambian authorities are yet to make a public announcement. Exploration precedes oil exploitation as it will confirm the quantity of oil off The Gambia’s coast. However, this key stage requires transparency and trust to avoid the country’s natural resources being undervalued for cooperate interest.

The Gambia’s oil blocks dubbed Samo, consist of six oil blocks on the Atlantic coast right next to Senegal’s SNE oil wells. On 22nd August FAR Ltd issued a press release announcing that “the Samo-1 well is planned to spud in early Q4 2018 and is expected to take approximately 40 days to drill on a trouble-free basis.” A week later another announcement from FAR Ltd highlighted that the Government has approved FAR Gambia Ltd’s farmout agreement of a 40% interest in petroleum licenses for offshore Samo blocks A2 and A5 to Petronas. The farm-out agreement means that the Malaysian oil company, Petronas will fund 80% of the exploration costs capped to US$45 Million. FAR will retain 40% of its original 80% working interest. FAR Ltd has created a local subsidiary company, FAR Gambia Ltd which currently employs about 5 operatives.

Senegambian Oil Reserve?
The Samo-1 oil well shown on the map is over 1,017m below sea level and approximately one hundred kilometers offshore. It is in very close proximity to Senegal’s SNE oil well as shown by the schematic and the plan. A PowerPoint presentation prepared by FAR Ltd shows a “Regional schematic cross-section” which according to them demonstrates that “the Samo Prospect has two main targets; an upper reservoir interval which contained liquid-rich gas at SNE and a lower reservoir interval which was oil-bearing at SNE.”

Observing the schematic [which must be seen as a representation]depicts the concept that the oil highlighted in green automatically stops where the Samo and SNE valleys meet. It’s more likely that the green shade, representing oil continues well below the point which the valleys meet raising the possibility that both oil wells are connected and thereby have a combined “Senegambian oil reserve”. Senegal recently launched its national dialogue on oil and gas and announced plans for oil exploitation in 2021. If oil wells in Senegal begin full operation then The Gambia’s total oil potential reserves could decline.

In an interview last year with Offshore Energy Today.Com FAR directors revealed that “the two [A2 and A5] prospects have a combined best estimate Prospective Resource of 1.1 billion barrels on a gross unrisked basis (926 million barrels net to Far).” However, after a more detailed 3-D seismic survey a follow-up announcement highlighted that “the two target reservoir intervals are assessed to have a combined Prospective Resource of 825 mmbbls of oil” about 100 million barrels less than the initial announcement.

Transparency out the Window
Given the wide reporting on the Gambia’s oil exploration deal outside the country, the time has arrived for The Government to disclose the full details of the agreement and outline what the country stands to gain from it. The deafening silence from the authorities is in sharp contrast with how oil exploration is progressing across the border. To engage the public Senegalese President Macky Sall, opened a national dialogue on the management of oil and gas in June this year and contract agreements have been made available for public scrutiny.

According to APA News, a government press release was issued inviting “all stakeholders in the nation to the national consultation on the management of revenue from exploitation of oil and gas”. The release also states that the Senegalese Government intends to seek parliamentary approval stressing that “the conclusions of this consultation will be the subject of a draft law on orientation regarding the distribution of the revenues resulting from the exploitation of oil and gas, a bill for which will be submitted to the National Assembly”. This will allow stakeholders to engage the government during the national dialogue and via the National Assembly.

In contrast to The Gambia, last year former British Premier, Tony Blair visited The Gambia and held closed-door meetings with newly elected President Barrow. In February 2018, Mr Blair’s partner, Cherie Blair represented The Gambia in a legal case against African Petroleum Company which was holding on to two blocks A1 and A4 in The Gambia. In a follow-up public event in May, Tony Blair invited President Barrow to London’s Chatham House where they both remained tight-lipped on oil exploration in The Gambia.

Conflict of Interest
If the authorities silence on this issue raises a cause for concern then the alarm bells must be ringing given the blatant conflict of interest overshadowing the FAR agreement. Lawyer Amie Bensouda is the legal representative of FAR Ltd and also a lead counsel for the Janneh Commission of Inquiry tasked with investigating the financial excesses of previous Dictator Yahya Jammeh’s regime. On the governments side their legal representatives negotiating the FAR contract is Berwin and Leighton however, Amie Bensouda associates also advices the Government on Model License for Blocks 1,3,4 and 6 together with Berwin and Leighton. This is a clear conflict of interest and gives Amie Bensouda a unique advantage during oil and gas contract negotiations as she has a working relationship with the government, Berwin and Leighton and also a representative of FAR Ltd.

Another cause for concern is the interference of FAR Ltd and Erin Energy in Gambia’s recent KMC Mayoral elections. In many countries with evolved electoral laws, external interference is not permitted in any local elections. This is highlighted in the United States Mueller probe of Russian Interference in the 2016 Presidential Elections. Current KMC Mayor, Talib Ahmed Bensouda had a cover photo [seen above]posted on his GamSense Facebook page, promoting his flagship local project supported by international oil companies FAR Ltd and Erin Energy. Mayor Bensouda is the son of Amie Bensouda and boldly announced on their GamSense page that “the agreement to begin the $12,000 [school rehabilitation]project was signed by Talib Bensouda and Far Limited.” This should be a cause for concern for anybody interested in free and fair Gambian elections.

Can the Barrow administration emulate the transparency being exhibited next door by making the contracts public and engaging the general public on how best to manage the country’s natural resources? Can National Assembly members exercise oversight and ensure that Gambia’s interest is being protected? How will the environment be protected? How will the government monitor the oil exploration project? Will there be independent studies or will The Gambia just take information submitted on the “total oil reserve” in good faith? Certainly, there are more questions than answers around the oil deal. It must be clearly stated that all Government key players have a responsibility to engage The Gambian public, however, its very clear that more information is available from international companies not under The Gambian taxpayers’ payroll.

Redigert 08.09.2018 kl 16:50 Du må logge inn for å svare
12.09.2018 kl 15:26 5240

Nå har Apcl og Senegal en felles kontrakt å forholde seg til etter daværende forutsetninger . Det er selvsagt ikke bare å forandre til en annen oljelov eller andre forutsetninger, noe som vil være klart brudd på kontraktsrett. Her faller svaret på sin egen urimelighet.


selvfølgelig har APCL og Senegal en eksisterende kontrakt under den gamle oljeloven, som begge parter skal forholde seg til. Det stopper selvfølgelig ikke Senegal fra å si til APCL at de kan få beholde lisensen selv om de har misligholdt forpliktelsene DERSOM de konverterer den til en lisens under den nye oljeloven. Det kan være et alternativ til voldgiftsprosessen som APCL har startet på SOSP, eller det kan også være en bakgrunn for at APCL tar Senegal til voldgift for en lisens de ennå ikke har mistet.

Dette VET jeg selvfølgelig ikke, så jeg kan godt si at det er rene spekulasjoner fra min side. Fra APCL (og aksjonærene) sin side ville jeg tro det ville være bedre å ha en (ny eller forlenget) lisens under den nye oljeloven, enn å ha en lisens til voldgift under den gamle oljeloven. Kanskje de vinner den voldgiften og beholder lisensen under den gamle loven, eller kanskje de taper voldgiften og mister lisensen. Her tenker jeg bare høyt.
12.09.2018 kl 16:15 5125

Slik er det - vi vet inget med sikkerhet. Kun spekulasjoner. Tenker at vi ska ner til 0,8 innen vi har svar :(
13.09.2018 kl 07:30 4768

Dette er bra for oss, det vil inkludere både A1, A4 og SOSP:

TGS is pleased to announce Jaan, a fully harmonized 3D multi-client project in the southern portion of the MSGBC Basin from northern Senegal, through The Gambia and the AGC zone, into Guinea-Bissau down to the Guinea transform fault. This project will consist of 11,135 km² of new acquisition complemented by the reprocessing and full pre-stack merging of existing multi-client 3D. The new data will be acquired using modern triple source broadband acquisition. Once complete, the final depth migrated volume will be over 28,300 km² and will completely capture the prospective paleo-shelf edge trend from the shallow to the deep.


Det går jo helt fra nord i Senegal og ned til Guinea Bissau så dette er nyttig for veldig mange aktører, egentlig alle som er involvert, både myndigheter (i flere land) og oljeselskap.

Kun positivt for oss at det kjøres nye MC undersøkelser som kan gjøre det lettere for både oss og potensiell partner senere(kanskje i motsetning til den undersøkelsen Total kjørte, som trolig var kun for eget bruk).

What Doesn’t Tony Say? Tony Blair In The Gambia

This week former British Prime Minister, Tony Blair touched down in The Gambia for the second time in less than a year to hold closed-door meetings with President Adama Barrow. According to Mr. Blair’s official non-profit charity, Africa Governance Initiative (AGI) “over a billion people in Africa need their governments to provide hospitals, schools, sanitation, jobs and much more…. That’s why AGI’s mission is to support effective governance in Africa – to make government work for the world’s poorest people.”
For a leader who collaborated with George W Bush to implement the Iraq war and well known for his close acquaintances with despotic African leaders who overstayed their welcome such as Gaddafi, it may come as a surprise that Tony Blair has indeed turned a new leaf. This article examines the public proclamations of Tony Blair in the context of his actions. Is Tony Blair a genuine good Samaritan assisting the New Gambia powered by Adama Barrow or is there more to it than meets the eye?

In an interview shown below Tony Blair spoke to the media briefly about his close door meeting with President Adama Barrow. “The important thing with the government is first of all its stabilised the situation. I mean the country went through a difficult process. The recent donor conference in Brussels was a very important landmark because it said on behalf of the outside world we appreciate what’s happening in the Gambia we want it to continue.

And secondly, talking to the President its very clear what the priorities are around electricity and power, agriculture developing the poor, making sure that the tourism industry here develops making in a way that makes it a key center globally for tourism.”

Tony Blair in November 2017

“It’s a big moment to come to The Gambia because of the change that’s happened Politically. You’ve got a new president it’s a new start for the country. What my work in Africa is about supporting governments particularly new governments since they come into power. How do they do the difficult business of governing because campaigning is one thing governing is another.

And so we support Presidents throughout the continent and you know am going to come and have a discussion with the President today and see how we can help him. So this is all through my foundation and, so I have an initiative the Africa Governance Initiative that works with governments throughout Africa to help them promote change. So now is the moment.”

Since Tony Blair visited The Gambia last November, President Barrow embarked on an official trip the United Kingdom and attended a public event in Chatham House in May 2018. During his trip, President Barrow made a memorable appearance at Chatham House when he wrongly answered a question on the succession of the Commonwealth and instead responded on the success of the Commonwealth.
However, what Tony Blair doesn’t say is that his wife, Cherie Blair runs an international law firm and recently represented The Gambia in a court case against Africa Petroleum over license agreements for Gambia’s offshore oil blocks A1 and A4. It remains to be seen if Cherie Blair is indeed successful in wrestling the license agreement for these oil blocks or if The Gambia will have to pay the hefty price for losing this legal tussle. Unfortunately, Africa Intelligence reported in an article last month of “How Africa Petroleum saved its arbitration.”
At the end of the day, Gambian public servants especially the Attorney General and the Petroleum Minister will need to explain to The Gambian public when the final verdict of the court case between The Gambia represented by Cherie Blair and Africa Petroleum is delivered.

13.09.2018 kl 10:52 4454

Syntes vinklingen på denne er livsfarlig.. Kona hans er i mot afrikan petroleum.
og det virker som om at APCL aldri får lisensene tilbake, men heller bare en hau med $. Penger er ikke verdt noe, lisensen er!!

Blair har vel hatt krisemøte med WheelBarrow. Opposisjonen har fått nok av radio-tausheten til Regjeringen, samt de lekkasjer som tyder på at noen Ruller i $ mens alt av infrastruktur mangler midler.

"There will be more leaks to come. The FABB Foundation scandal is just the beginning."
13.09.2018 kl 11:44 4334

Den var ny: «Penger er ikke verdt noe»
Fra dagens nivåer er penger verdt ganske så mye spør du meg;)
13.09.2018 kl 12:37 4221

Hva skal du med penger, når det er bruksvare? Lisenser er en unik verdi, hvertfall Gambia og Senegal.

Selv du kan ikke være uenig i dette Warom.
13.09.2018 kl 12:40 4208

Kommer jo litt an på hva som er alternativet da;)
13.09.2018 kl 16:51 3223

Nei for all del. 1 milliard eller 2 er da ikke verdt noe som helst. APCL vant frem i 2014 og benytter de samme toppadvokatene denne runden. Dette går veien

APCL inne i en meget spennende fase. Føler at noen når som helst tar tak i aksjen og sender den nordover
14.09.2018 kl 13:31 2697

Tydelig at noen forsøker å holde igjen kursen, men snart tror jeg det smeller rett opp.

Ha en fortreffelig helg :)

Regner med vi får en melding til uka... nå er des snart oktober

Vi så vel at noen tok tak i aksjen idag,gikk endel poster over 1,10 + . Tror det er bare spørsmål om kort tid før en nytt nivå etableres.
18.09.2018 kl 01:15 1980


Må du være tålmodig iallefall til 1. oktober som da skal gi videre retning forstår jeg deg rett :) Håper vi da har retning nord.

Merkelig at ICSID ikke har klart til nå å komme med sin avgjørelse på 41(5). Har lest noen tilsvarende saker hvor 41(5) ble forsøkt, men hvor avgjørelsen har kommet raskere. Så får vi se da siste nye er da at APCL (claimant) har avgitt nok en «observasjon»;

September 14, 2018
The Claimants file further observations on the Respondent’s response of August 23, 2018.

Merker meg at vi svarer opp hyppigere nå enn innledningsvis uten at det må ha stor betydning, men igjen spørrende til hvorfor 41(5) avgjørelsen lar vente på seg eller kan man finne en løsning ? Fortsatt har Gambia store problemer med ikke kun «licensing round» men trolig også på skatteproblematikk rundt JV FAR / Petronas.

Lykke til videre
Redigert 18.09.2018 kl 01:24 Du må logge inn for å svare

Kanskje vi også ser A2/A5 i ICSID i løpet av høsten? Har sett på HC at det spekuleres vilt i hvorfor FAR`s COO, Ben Clube, plutselig forsvant.


Presently, the DG of FAR Ltd, in The Gambia, has resigned and is no longer in The Gambia. His name is Ben Clube. There is a crisis brewing with this petroleum deal, which is involving the Malaysian oil firm Petronas, Tony Blair’s Consultancy firm, GRA, Ministry of Justice, Finance and the mighty AB and Co.

Let me try and breakdown the chaos for you. Far Ltd sold 40 % shares of the two oil blocks they have acquired from The Gambia to Petronas during the Jammeh’s regime. Under Barrow rule, according to the new Petroleum laws, Petronas is supposed to pay capital gains tax on the 40 % share they are holding. But the company is refusing to pay. The Law firm entangled in all these is the AB and co which is also the firm that brought Tony Blair in The Gambia to advice and negotiate for President Barrow on everything relating to Oil.

FAR LTD is represented by AB and co. As we speak, there are negotiations going on between The Gambia government, Petronas and Far Ltd to solve this issue in which The Gambia is represented by the Blair Firm.

The reason why Petronas doesn’t want to pay CGT is because another company called ERIN, from Canada were exempted from paying taxes. GRA is gearing up to sell the assets of Petronas in The Gambia to recover the 5 million US Dollar Capital Gains Tax owed to them by the company.

Ministry of Finance under Mamburay Njie and the Justice Ministry are not playing ball. Tony Blair’s firm, who is The Gambia’s main company rep as far as oil is concerned. They are currently paid 4 Million USD for their services. This firm is also closely working with…

FAR LTD has two blocks out of the six oil blocks. Their contract which started in the summer will end after six months meaning around January. But November is the most important month for The Gambian oil exploration.

If FAR Ltd drill their blocks end of this month, by November FAR, they will know whether, the blocks are worthy or not. If they are containing the amounts speculated, then the real drama will start. There will be more oil companies coming to The Gambia to negotiate with the Blair firm, for the acquisition of the remaining four blocks. Which means more money for Blair Firm.

They are trying to convince GRA to sell the assets of Petronas in order to recovery the CGT, so that FAR can proceed with their drilling. I hope this all make sense to you. At the end of the day, we Gambians must start to request for transparency before it’s too late.

There is a committee involving The Ministry of Energy, Justice, Finance, Blair Firm, Far Ltd, and Co trying to settle this Petronas standstill. One has to remember the Petronas deal was signed during Jammeh before the new Petroleum laws. I will keep you posted…

Editors note: The views expressed by the author do not represent the position of the Freedom Newspaper. Thanks for your attention.

Redigert 18.09.2018 kl 08:59 Du må logge inn for å svare