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Sierra Leone eager to commence oil drilling next year

Sierra Leone eager to commence oil drilling next year

African Petroleum, one of the two companies prospecting for oil off the coast of Sierra Leone, says it will be commencing drilling in Sierra Leone next year.

This will bring to an end over two years of waiting since the first hitting the first discovery by US based Anadarko Petroleum Corporation.

The MV Geo-Caribbean, a high standard drilling vessel, contracted by African Petroleum, has since the July 27 , this year been carrying out a seismic survey on its 100 per cent owned block SL 3. The company said the drilling is 60 per cent completed.

Apparently, the Sierra Leone government is eager to have the oil taps flowing before country’s polls next year.

President Ernest Bai Koroma, last Sunday, flew over to the boat anchored off shore in its prospecting territory. He was accompanied by his Minister of Mines and Mineral Resources, Alhaji Minkailu Mansaray, who noted the president had, “designed an integrated approach in his quest to achieving his ‘Agenda for Change’.”

Development agenda

The government is eagerly hoping to tap much needed oil funds to pursue its development agenda.

While welcoming the President on board the vessel, Frank Timis, Executive Chairman of African Petroleum, said the drilling is expected to commence next year.

The UK based Romanian-Australian investor has for over five years dominated the mining sector in Sierra Leone, through his African Minerals (SL) Limited investment.

African Minerals, listed as largest market cap company on AIM, in 2008 discovered what is said to be the world’s largest reported iron-ore deposit in the West African country.

It has earned Mr Timis over $500 million. The investor is now looking forward to extending his business interest in the country with this petroleum prospecting.

By KEMO CHAMP for Africa Review

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