Nigeria has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Government of the Republic of The Gambia to explore and develop crude oil in the small West African country.
The signing ceremony, which took place in the Gambian capital, Banjul, was done on behalf of the two countries by officials of Nigeria National Petroleum Company [NNPC] Ltd for Nigeria, and those of the Gambian National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC) for Gambia.
In a joint statement, the two countries said Nigeria would explore and evaluate potential oil resources in the Gambia.
It said the cooperation was a significant step towards further strengthening bilateral relations between Nigeria and The Gambia, and would provide opportunities for the two countries to collaborate in the oil and gas sector.
According to the statement, the exploration activities will include geological and geophysical studies, as well as seismic data acquisition and analysis. The NNPC will also work with the GNPC to identify potential exploration blocks and carry out drilling activities in the country.
The Gambian minister of petroleum and energy, Fafa Sanyang, reportedly described the MoU as a major milestone for the country’s oil and gas industry, assuring that the cooperation would help to unlock the potential of The Gambia’s hydrocarbon resources.
On the side of Nigeria, officials say the agreement represents another step in the country’s efforts to expand its operations beyond Nigeria and tap into the vast oil and gas reserves in other African countries.
The corporation has been involved in several similar initiatives in recent years, including exploration projects in Niger, Chad, and Benin Republic. Overall, the MoU between the NNPC and the Government of The Gambia is a positive development for both countries and has the potential to boost economic growth and cooperation in the oil and gas sector in West Africa.