The government of Sierra Leone has awarded offshore exploratory blocks to several companies.

A unit of African Petroleum Corp. Ltd., Perth, and Kosmos Energy Co. were provisionally awarded an exploration permit on Block SL-4A-10. The award is subject to further negotiation.

African Petroleum applied for the block on Mar. 30, 2012, as part of the Sierra Leone third bid round for offshore exploration permits.

African Petroleum holds a 100% interest in Block SL-03 where it has shot 2,500 sq km of 3D seismic that is under interpretation in anticipation of future drilling.

Meanwhile, the government picked SL Exploration Investment & Management GmbH for exclusive negotiations on Block SL-9A-10 and Block SL-9B-10. The blocks total 4,277 sq km in 3,700-3,900 m of water 105-145 km offshore Sierra Leone. The blocks are subject to further negotiation.