Auction of oil blocks in Sao Tome and Principe’s exclusive economic area set for November

1 July 2009

Sao Tome, Sao Tome and Principe, 1 July – Sao Tome and Principe’s National Oil Agency (ANP) is seeking interested parties for an auction of oil exploration blocks in the country’s exclusive economic area, the agency’s chief executive said Tuesday.

Luís Prazeres told Portuguese news agency Lusa that the deadline for carrying out the auction depended on approval in a plenary session of the National Assembly of a legislative package, which has already been adjusted a the so-called “4th Parliamentary (Oil) Commission” which is expected to happen by the end of the week.

“We expect the auction to take place in November, but that will depend on approval of the legislative package,” said Prazeres.

From 7 to 10 June, ANP and the Sao Tome minister of Natural Resources, Cristina Dias, took part in the annual conference of the North American Association of Oil Geologists, in Denver, United States, where they presented the 14 blocks up for auction in Sao Tome’s offshore area.

According to Prazeres, interest has already been shown from companies already involved in oil exploration in the Sao Tome/Nigeria Joint Development Zone (JDZ) , such as China’s Sinopec and Addax.

If all deadlines are met, it is hoped that within two years, starting in November, it will be possible to determine whether or not there is oil available in the blocks of sufficient quality and quantity to warrant commercial exploration. (macauhub)