(Recasts with oil minister, adds detail throughout)
DAKAR/OSLO, July 6 (Reuters) - Gambia’s Oil Minister said on Thursday he planned to seek legal advice over a disagreement with Oslo-listed African Petroleum concerning the status of two off-shore exploration licences.
Reuters reported on Tuesday that Gambia had ended discussions with the firm on extending exploration in two of the West African country’s most promising blocks, causing shares to tumble for two consecutive days.
“The African Petroleum case is something we are going to get advice from a legal team on,” Fafa Sanyang told Reuters by telephone.
The company, which says it still holds the licences, said on an investor call on Thursday it aimed to engage in a constructive dialogue with Gambia. Chief Executive Jens Pace said a local representative planned to meet with the minister on Thursday.
But Sanyang denied he had a meeting planned.
“I have no meeting today with African Petroleum or any other investor,” he added.
Shares in African Petroleum closed up 13.04 percent on Thursday. The Gambian oil minister made his comments after trading on the Oslo bourse had closed.
The disagreement comes at a sensitive time for African Petroleum. In April it said it was in talks with an unnamed listed company to take a 70 percent stake in the two blocks as well as one in neighbouring Senegal.
Pace said an initial agreement to discuss the possible sale to an unnamed third party continued. (Reporting by Emma Farge and Gwladys Fouche, editing by Susan Thomas)