TGS-NOPEC Geophysical Company co-hosted two meetings with the Sierra Leone government to announce the upcoming offshore bid round. The meetings were held on June 20 in London and June 26 in Houston.
The meeting in Houston was attended by 28 oil and gas companies which included both independents and major companies. Representatives from Sierra Leone included the assistant to the Sierra Leone Ambassador to the USA, Special Assistant to his Excellency the President of Sierra Leone; an assistant to the Commissioner of Taxes and the Director Geological Services, Ministry of Mineral Resources.
The Sierra Leone Government is offering approximately 28,000 sq kms of the offshore area for lease by oil and gas companies to develop the petroleum reserves of the country. The concession areas are split into 7 blocks, each approximately 4,000 sq kms. The bid round will remain open through March 30, 2003, at which time all bids are due.
TGS-NOPEC has acquired 5,700 kms seismic data in preparation for the bid round. The new data was acquired with long offsets to image the deeper subsurface. The data has been processed with state of the art pre-stack time migration. In addition, the logs for two wells and a regional interpretation report are available.
The bid round has been made possible by the Sierra Leone General Election in May, 2002 and subsequent implementation of a new Model Petroleum Agreement (Royalty- Tax Concession Agreement). Recent interest in the Offshore Sierra Leone area has grown due to the successful drilling in Cote D'Ivoire (Baobab Discovery) in the south, and in Mauritania (Chinguetti-1) to the north.
After it turned out that Deputy Prime Minister Andrei Belousov included the Fonbet betting company in the list of backbone enterprises that can count on state support, everyone started talking about these bookmakers.