Five Angolan companies are candidates for oil exploration in blocs 17 and 18

22 May 2006

Lisbon, Portugal, 22 May – Five Angolan oil companies have presented proposals for the oil tender for bloc 17 and 18 of Angola’s offshore area, a record number, the Africa Monitor newsletter reported.

According to the newsletter, in the current tender three so far unknown companies are taking part (ACR, Prodoil and Wodge), as well as two others (Falcon Oil and Gema) which have put forward proposals for previous tenders.

The largest financial offer for these blocs, bid for on May 9, was made by Sonangol Sinopec International (SSI), a Chinese-Angolan joint venture, a signing bonus of US$1.1 billion for all of the remaining areas of blocs 17 and 18 in Angola’s offshore, or a total of US$2.2 billion as well as 200 million euros for “social projects.”

According to Africa Monitor, the new Angolan companies that presented proposals are linked to Angolan politicians, and their submissions are a development in business owners’ interest in the oil business, from the complementary services business directly to exploration.

Angolan companies taking part in the tender follows calls from the Angolan government for local businesses to take part in the development of the oil and diamond sectors, the concessions for which have mainly been handed over to multinational corporations.

The oil reserves in bloc 17 are estimated at around 1 billion barrels, while reserves in bloc 18 could reach 3 billion barrels.

In order to promote Angolan business the authorities have encouraged partnerships between local companies and foreign investors, especially in the diamond sector.

According to Africa Monitor, at a recent meeting of the Permanent Committee of government party, MPLA, a target was set to increase the number of business owners in Angola to 200,000 people. (macauhub)