Australian oil and gas explorer FAR Ltd said on Tuesday that an independent study of two of its offshore blocks in The Gambia found potential for a total of 1.1 billion barrels of oil.
The company said 926 million barrels could be obtained on a net basis in the A2 and A5 blocks in the Mauritania-Senegal-Guinea-Bissau (MSGB) Basin, in which it has an 80 percent stake.
Operations are underway to prepare for drilling in late 2018, the company said in a statement. An FAR unit signed a so-called farm-in deal with ERIN Energy Corp in March for the blocks, under which it will fund ERIN’s share of exploration costs up to $8 million.
FAR on its own is expected to bear $25 million to $30 million in exploration costs. The Gambian government approved the deal in early July.
Meanwhile The Standard last night contacted an expert on oil matters who said if successfully explored with a good bargain for the Gambia, the amount of oil forecast can turn the Gambia to the richest country in Africa.
“Given its tiny size and small population if that resource is properly unitized, The Gambia government can afford to give free education, free health service, free food and top-class infrastructure to its citizens. We can even afford to supply electricity free to the citizens. But of course, the resources have to be properly managed and put into good use. I don’t know which government would be in power by the time the oil starts to flow, but they will have the opportunity to deliver Gambia in paradise,” the expert dramatically analyzed.