COPETAO carries out an exploration mission in Casamance
In 1958, the CFP applied for an exploration licence at Kholda in Casamance (now Kolda) and in 1959 created COPETAO (Compagnie des pétroles Total en Afrique de l'Ouest), which was granted a vast licence in Casamance, covering a large onshore territory extending offshore. The photo illustrates this period.
In 1961, as exploration efforts were not very successful, nor in the immediately neighbouring countries (BP and EXXON in Gambia and Guinea-Bissau), research work was temporarily halted.
COPETAO will later discover a small deposit at Kolda in 1967, which will not be exploited. After numerous offshore drillings, it also discovers in 1969 an accumulation of heavy and sulphurous oil estimated at 100 million tons, Dôme Flore, whose development is not justified in economic terms.
Further drilling conducted in 1970 with TexasGulf led to insufficient indications.
COPETAO gives way to TCMS (Total Compagnie Minière du Sénégal).