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Gambia set for oil producers club? First oil well in 40 years planned for country’s offshore

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FAR Ltd., a company focused on West Africa, said it plans to drill into a basin off the coast of Gambia that could hold hundreds of millions of barrels of oil.

After reviewing seismic data, FAR Ltd. said it selected a final well location for its first drilling effort in the Samo prospect off the coast of Gambia.

Samo is located in the broader Mauritania-Senegal-Guinea-Bissau-Conakry basin and could hold as much as 825 million barrels of oil.

Drilling is scheduled for the fourth quarter and last about 40 days. It will be the first well drilled offshore Gambia in 40 years.

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“We are very excited to be drilling the Samo prospect, which is a large prospect along trend from the giant SNE oil field,” FAR Managing Director Cath Norman said in a statement.

“Given the nine successful wells drilled on the shelf to date in Senegal and into the key reservoirs in the Samo prospect, the geological chance of success for drilling this prospect is high for a frontier exploration well.”

Two Gambian blocks combine for an estimated 1 billion barrels of unrisked barrels of oil and are in close proximity to the SNE oil field offshore Senegal, one of the largest finds in recent years.

Navigating West African waters has proved complex amid disputes over their maritime borders.

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Nigerien President, Mohamed Bazoum wants employment quotas for African immigrants

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Niger’s President Mohamed Bazoum wants employment quotas for African immigrants tailored to job needs from European countries.

President Bazoum made the position in an interview with an Italian newspaper, La Repubblica. on Friday.

The president’s argument is that the quota will address European countries’ needs for its labour market and could help resolve the problem of illegal migration and human trafficking.

“In France, Spain, and Italy you have many jobs in sectors of employment where Africans can work,” Bazoum said.

“These numbers need to be established, country by country, and then the consulates entrusted with the responsibility of enforcing them.”

Surveys of African migrants in or heading toward Europe reveal that the majority were either employed or in school at the time of their departure. Yet, they felt despair over their economic prospects.

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IMF Chief, Ceyla Pazarbasioglu, to visit China over Africa’s growing debt profile

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As the debt profile of many African countries continues to rise, the International Monetary Fund strategy chief, Ceyla Pazarbasioglu will travel to China next week for another high-level meeting.

Her travel is part of efforts to press the world’s largest sovereign creditor for quicker progress on debt restructurings for countries in need.

The IMF chief had called for debt restructuring arrangements for Zambia and Chad to be completed shortly.

Pazarbasioglu said it was critical to move forward and that “outreach to China next week is very important, at the highest levels.”

“It’s moving – very slowly, but it’s moving,” Pazarbasioglu said, noting that the participation of mining company Glencore Plc in the Chad treatment was also “a very good sign” that “even the most difficult private sector participants” were participating.

She said the Paris Club of official bilateral creditors had taken years to hammer out their debt relief processes, and China was learning, although she noted that the debt issues facing borrowing countries now were acute.

“The problem we have is that we don’t have that time right now because these countries are very fragile and dealing with debt vulnerabilities,” she said. “What we need is speed.”

Pazarbasioglu said the IMF would continue to press for changes to the Common Framework, including a freeze in debt payments when countries apply for a debt treatment, as well as clearer procedures and timelines for action, and ensuring comparable treatment for private creditors.

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