By Bakary Ceesay
Australian oil and gas company FAR Limited has suspended its plans to drill an exploration well offshore The Gambia as a result of the coronavirus pandemic and the government has closed its borders.
FAR Limited is the operator of the A2 and A5 blocks located offshore the Gambia and has been preparing to drill an exploration well in the second half of 2020, but these plans now need to be adjusted as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
To remove the risk to FAR personnel and contractors, and in recognition that the international supply of services is currently uncertain, FAR said it will be suspending the drilling plans.
The project is currently at an early stage and a good hold-point for reactivation after the suspension. Other work in the block will be optimized to suit the business requirements and all license obligations will continue.
This program adjustment will be done in consultation with partner Petronas and the Government of The Gambia. FAR and its partners will continue to assess the situation on the ground to reactivate the drilling project when it is safe and sensible to do so.
Under the license, the well is not obliged to be drilled until 3Q 2021. FAR and other partners in the Sangomar project, operated by Woodside, are exploring how the costs for the project can be reduced and expenditure delayed due to the current coronavirus pandemic and the sudden fall of the oil price.