Since 2012, Erin Energy has had interest in two exploration licenses offshore The Gambia. The two licenses have a combined surface area of 2,682 km2 in water depths of 50-1,200 meters.
The license blocks are located in The Gambia’s offshore Casamance-Bissau sub-basin that forms the southern part of the greater Senegal Basin, which has been the focus of intense industry leasing and exploration drilling activities in recent years. The area emerged recently from frontier basin status due to two consecutive oil discoveries on the adjacent block in Senegal waters. These wells have proven petroleum systems associated with Cretaceous basin floor fans and shelf edge to slope clastic deposits which are on trend to the company’s blocks. Similar plays have been successfully tested along the West Africa margin, with some already in development or production.
A fresh interpretation of West Africa's petroleum geology came in 2007 after the Kosmos Energy Jubilee discovery offshore Ghana, and more recently Anadarko's discovery of hydrocarbons in the first deepwater well drilled offshore Sierra Leone. The discoveries raise the prospect of a new oil province in the West Africa transform margin, an area between two tectonic plates, stretching from eastern Ghana, Côte d'Ivoire, Liberia and Sierra Leone. Offshore Gambia has good prospectivity for hydrocarbons and the area marks the northern extent of the Casamance-Bissau sub-basin forming part of the Mauritania-Gambia-Guinea Bissau coastal basin which is characterised by halokinetic deformation and proven petroleum systems.