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The Downstream Sector - National Petroleum Demand

Downstream petroleum refers essentially to the business of petroleum products - from the refining of crude oil to the marketing of the refined products. Therefore downstream petroleum includes refining of crude oil, transportation (by road, rail, pipelines, and ocean going vessels), storage, and marketing (e.g. fuel service stations). In the country, the downstream petroleum activities are so far limited to refining sludge, importation, storage, transportation and marketing of petroleum products such as petrol, diesel, kerosene, Jet fuel, LPG (liquid petroleum gas) and tar.

Unlike the upstream, downstream petroleum activities have not been adequately regulated. The laws available for the downstream is the Petroleum Act, Chapter 65:01 of 1921 last amended in 1963 and 1976, which deals mainly with the transportation, storage and possession of petroleum products (mainly liquid products). The law is far too old and inadequate for the modern dynamic petroleum industry.

Petroleum Products Consumption and Supply in the Gambia

The Gambia imports all of its petroleum requirements, mainly used for electricity power generation and in the transport sector; they are mainly refined products like gasoline, diesel, heavy fuel oil (HFO), kerosene/Jet A-1 and liquefied petroleum gas due to the absence of a local refinery.  Importation is now liberalized, and contract arrangements have been in force with various license holders. A modern fuel depot at Mandinary that has a storage capacity of 51,000 metric tons is the only storage depot. 

Supply and Demand Situation and Access Rate by Beneficiaries

The consumption of liquid products grew from 107.6 million metric tons in 2005 to 177.80 million   metric tons in 2014 (Table 3.1).  There was a fluctuating trend in the demand for HFO but demand for diesel oil gradually increased from 39.4 million metric tons in 2005 to 72.46 million metric tons in 2014 whilst the supply for gasoline or petrol remained constant from 2005 up to 2010 when it steadily increased from 20.3 million metric tons to 22.3 million metric tons in 2011 and 24.6 million metric tons in 2014. The supply of kerosene/jet fuel has been fluctuating between 18 million tons in 2010, 22 million tons in 2011 and 2013 but falling to 14 million metric tons in 2014.

The source of supply of petroleum products to the Gambia is from the international market through contract arrangement entered into with local operators. Subsidiary international oil marketing companies such as GALP, Elton and Total and other local operators lift the products from the depot at Mandinary to meet their individual market demands. The system is functioning efficiently as these operators all have their own logistical support arrangements. The new support facilities for handling petroleum supplies and distribution are:

  1. A submarine pipeline for discharging tankers at Mandinary
  2. A 51 thousand metric ton storage depot located at Mandinary
  3. About 55 retailing stations countrywide 

GNPC at Glance


Investment in The Gambia

Gas & Crude Oil Importation

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