African Petroleum heads for arbitration in dispute over Senegal blocks

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African Petroleum said today that it had been unable to resolve a dispute with Senegal over two petroleum sharing contracts.

The company’s subsidiary, African Petroleum Senegal, has now requested arbitration documents with the International Centre for the Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) to protect its interests in the Rufisque Offshore Profond (ROP) and Senegal Offshore Sud Profond blocks in Senegal.

The parties had three months to find a resolution, but were unable to do so.

African Petroleum also said it was aware recent media reports claiming Total had completed a seismic acquisition on the ROP block and was planning to drill a well in 2019.

African Petroleum said it continued to reserve its rights on the ROP.

Company chief executive Jens Pace said: “Our legal position regarding our rights over the licences in Senegal remains unchanged. We are taking this step of initiating official dispute resolution proceedings in order to underpin and shape discussions with the government, with the ultimate aim of protecting our interests.

“We believe in the significant potential of our licences and are determined to find a way forward with all stakeholders to secure value for our shareholders.

“As previously stated, African Petroleum remains well funded and we can comfortably cover the legal costs associated with Senegal and The Gambia, whilst also funding the agreed work programs of European Hydrocarbons and African Petroleum Sierra Leone in Sierra Leone.

“We thank our shareholders for their continued support and will continue to provide updates as and when we have material updates to provide.”

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