The Petroleum Directorate of Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone Offshore Waters Open to Tender in the Fourth Licensing Round

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We will achieve our mission through the development of regulatory guidelines and monitoring contract compliance, having due regard for the economy, the environment, safety, technology, as well as balancing the interests of the nation and investors.

We work in partnership with Getech, whose experienced and knowledgeable staff provide us with the geoscience services and expertise we need to de-risk our investor's exploration programmes.


Sierra Leone is open to the international oil industry


Explore all the information relating to the Fourth Licensing


Read the lastest news about our recent announcements

Fourth Licensing Round Overview

The reopening of the Fourth Licensing Round is a rich opportunity for energy investors.


Investor Guidelines Summary

Important dates:

  • 21-May-19 : Tender Processes Launch
  • 28-Feb-20 : Direct Tender Negotiations Close
  • 28-Feb-20 : Deadline for Open Tenders

Click to learn more in each section:

  • arrow_drop_downPrequalification Process
    To participate in either the Direct or Open Tender, companies must prequalify for that process by fulfilling all financial, technical and HSE elements relevant to their specific application. The Open Tender process, being focused on shallower water depths, will provide the opportunity for a broad range of companies to apply for offshore acreage. Given the predominance of ultra-deep-water areas in the Direct Tender process, each Applicant will be expected to evidence that they possess the financial and technical capability to safely operate in ultra-deep water.
  • arrow_drop_downBlock System Framework
    At the launch of the Fourth Licensing Round, five (5) Licence Areas were defined and Gazetted. Consultation has highlighted that this rigid approach has not provided the Directorate with the flexibility it requires. To address this, and with the Republic’s offshore waters now fully open to licensing (bar environmentally protected estuaries and a 5km coastal fisheries zone), the Directorate has decided to utilize a pre-defined graticular Block framework. The size of each full block is 1,360km2. Using this framework, Applicants are invited to delineate their areas of interest by assembling multiple contiguous Blocks. A Licence Application must cover an area which is equivalent to at least 3 Blocks in size and may be made up of a combination of whole and partial Blocks. Overlapping Licence Applications will be reviewed with reference to their relative merits and against the criteria detailed on the published scorecard.
  • arrow_drop_downWork Programme
    Applicants are asked to propose a work programme for the Initial Exploration Period following which they will have the option to enter an extension period. No minimum work programme specifications have been set for the Initial Exploration Period, however the Directorate expects companies to invest in studies, data and other activities that build toward the drilling of exploration wells.
  • arrow_drop_downAward of Licences
    Applications for both Direct and Open Tender will be assessed against a publicly disclosed scoring system. Successful applicants will be notified in a timely manner by the Directorate, following which the Applicant will have 30 days to accept the proposed award. Once accepted, an exclusive Licence Agreement will be signed and ratified by Parliament. The Agreement then becomes valid and binding, and a summary of the Licence is published by Gazette. The Petroleum Directorate looks forward to a successful conclusion to Sierra Leone’s Fourth Licensing Round.
  • arrow_drop_downData Catalogue
    To appropriately inform their Initial Exploration Period technical studies, the Directorate strongly encourages all applicants to invest in the extensive inventory of geophysical and well data owned by the Government of Sierra Leone.

Data Catalogue

The Data Catalogue provides details of the released technical data available for potential investors to license.

All released data is available, subject to the signing of a Licensing Agreement with the Petroleum Directorate or our partner, Getech Group Plc.


Data Location Map

View an interactive map of the Sierra Leone offshore acreage to discover and interrogate all the available well and seismic data.

We have created a powerful but simple-to-use utility powered by Esri's ArcGIS to display this valuable information.

Visit the Data Location Map

Latest News

Read all our latest news as we move forwards with the Fourth Licensing Round

Sierra Leone starts Assessing Bids for Offshore Exploration Concessions

fast_forwardRead More 15th April 2019

Blog Post: Challenging current thinking on deep water petroleum systems

fast_forwardRead More 30th Sept. 2019

Fourth Petroleum Licensing Round:
Extension of Application Deadline

fast_forwardRead More 23rd Sept. 2019

Sierra Leone Offshore Waters Opened to Tender

fast_forwardRead More 22nd May 2019

Get In Touch With Us

We will use the information you provide to send marketing updates from Petroleum Directorate of Sierra Leone:

The Petroleum Directorate of Sierra Leone

Petroleum House
20 Mandalay Street, Kingtom
Freetown, Sierra Leone