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No significant news in 2024.


No significant news in 2023.


May 2022: Wildcat Petroleum announced that it has entered into a 6-month Reconnaissance Permit Agreement with the Petroleum Directorate covering 20 offshore blocks (24,000 sq kms) including the Mercury and Jupiter discoveries. The objective is to identify those blocks with the potential to yield commercial oil fields. The Permit gives WCAT no pre-emptive rights over any of the acreage covered.  


No significant news in 2021.


Apr 2020: The Government announced that 6 applications were received in the 4th Offshore Petroleum Licensing Round. Blocks have been provisionally awarded to Cluff Energy (23, 24, 25, 36, 37,38, 39, 54, 55, 56, 57, 74, 75, 94 & 95) and Innoson Oil and Gas (96, 97, 114, 115, 116, 117, 133,134, & 135).


May 2019: The Government announced the reopening of the 4th Licensing Round after a 6-month industry consultation. It will fully open offshore waters for licensing and use a more flexible Block framework as its basis.

Feb 2019: GeoPartners is co-operating with the Petroleum Directorate of Sierra Leone on a new 9,000 km 2D offshore seismic survey to support the 4th Offshore Petroleum Licensing Round planned for later in 2019.


Nov 2018: African Petroleum will relinquish its interests in licenses SL-03-17 and SL-4A-17 with immediate effect as a result of the decision to not commit to an ultra-deep water drilling program.

Sep 2018: The Director General of the Sierra Leone Petroleum Directorate has temporarily suspended the 4th Sierra Leone Licensing Round and entered a period of industry consultation. This process is expected to last for up to 6 months.

June 2018: The deadline for bids in the 4th Offshore Licensing Round, launched by the Petroleum Directorate in January, has been extended until September 27, from the original deadline of June 28.


Oct 2017: The Fourth Offshore Petroleum Licensing Round will take place between January and May 2018 as announced by the Director General of the Petroleum Directorate. Investors can access 15,000 kms of 2D and over 10,000 sq kms of 3D seismic data and all wells drilled from 2009-2013.


Aug 2016: The subsidiary of African Petroleum, European Hydrocarbons Limited (EHL), received ratification for the First Extension Period on the SL-03 offshore license. The Petroleum Directorate also agreed to modify the work program and expenditure requirements in favour of EHL.


Oct 2015: LukOil has now abandoned its 4,022 sq km,SL-5-11 deep water block. The first exploration well was drilled with semi-submersible drilling rig Eirik Raude in 2013.

Jul 2015: Talisman, LukOil, Anadarko and another company appear to have relinquished their blocks after results proved to be non-commercial.


Jul 2014: African Petroleum will acquire more than 1,000 sq kms of 3D seismic data on offshore Block SL-4A-10 commencing in Q3 2014. The Company was awarded SL-03 in April 2010 and the adjacent Block SL-4A-10 as part of Sierra Leone’s third offshore licencing round in 2012.


Oct 2013: LukOil completed drilling the Savannah-1X wildcat in the Sl-5-11 license to a depth of 4,425m. Several oil-bearing reservoirs were reportedly confirmed (GS notes: Russian companies never report failure, suggesting the field is not commercial).

Sep 2013: LukOil has spudded an exploration well in Block SL-5-11 in the Sierra Leone-Liberia basin in over 2000m of water. The Company is using the Erik Raude rig to drill the Savannah Prospect. Lukoil entered into the PSA in June 2011 as operator with 49%, along with Oranto (30%) and PanAtlantic (21%).


Sep 2012: Chevron has been awarded 2 deep water blocks off Sierra Leone. The two blocks are SL-08A and SL-08B, combined into one concession between 120 and 180 kms SW of Freetown over an area of 5,500 sq kms. They have water depths ranging from 1,500m to 3,000m. Chevron will be operator with 55% with Noble Energy (30%) and Odye (15%).

West Africa

Sierra Leone

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Sierra Leone Datafiles

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