Chevron, with headquarters in California, announced it was awarded the right to participate in exploration opportunities in Sierra Leone through a partnership with Noble Energy and Odye Ltd. as the operator. Sierra Leone National Oil Co. will take on a minority stake once a final investment decision is reached.
"We have a strong presence in the region and this new play will capitalize on our global deepwater experience and exploration capabilities," said Chevron Vice Chairman George Kirkland.
The blocks were combined into one concession about 100 miles off the coast. Waters in the region are as deep as 9,800 feet.
The CIA's World Fact Book notes a number of offshore oil discoveries were made in Sierra Leone since 2009, though development is several years away.
Sierra Leone is to have presidential, parliamentary and local council elections Nov. 17. The country was rocked by civil war in the 1990s.