The Guinean State Minister of Mines and Geology, Kerfalla Yansané, recently announced a possible launch of a bidding round in 2015 for offshore oil blocks in Guinea under the new hydrocarbons code (the “New Code”). Following its adoption by the Guinean Parliament and its promulgation by President Alpha Condé, Law L/2014/034 implementing the New Code entered into force on 23 December 2014. The New Code has not yet been published in the Journal Officiel.
The New Code repeals the 1986 Petroleum Code (order n°119/PRG/86 dated 28 September 1986 and its implementing decree n°168/PRG/86 dated 23 September 1986) and all other conflicting laws and regulations.
Petroleum rights and contracts granted before the promulgation of the New Code remain (i) valid for their remaining duration and (ii) governed by their terms. However, provisions of the New Code pertaining to safety, protection of the environment, monitoring of hydrocarbons activities, labor law and anti bribery might immediately apply to existing petroleum rights holders, unless it can be demonstrated that such application (i) is discriminatory and (ii) disrupts the economic equilibrium of their petroleum contracts.
A model PSC which will form the basis of all subsequent PSCs awarded or negotiated by the State is yet to be issued so that the exact impact of the New Code is difficult to assess at this stage.
An overview of the main provisions of the New Code is set out below.