Sao Tome and Principe starts auction of oil blocks

3 March 2010

London, United Kingdom, 3 March – The first auction for oil exploration in the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) of Sao Tome and Principe merited the interest of international oil companies, the executive director of the country’s National Oil Agency (ANP) said Tuesday in London.

Luís Prazeres travelled to London to present the conditions of the tender to an audience of oil professional and other companies in the sector during the “APPEX 2010” international oil and gas conference, which is taking place until 4 March in the UK capital, organised by the American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG).

The licensing process relates to seven of the 19 blocks identified in the archipelago’s EEZ, blocks 1,2,3 and 6 of Zone A and blocks 7, 8 and 13 of Zone B.

The auction launched Tuesday is open until 15 September and will be followed by an evaluation of the proposals, signing up of the companies and negotiation of the contracts with the companies, which only afterwards will be able to start prospecting and exploration.

This long process means that “stable income for the country can only be expected within five, six years,” said Prazeres.

During the same session in London the fourth round of licensing of land based blocks in Mozambique was al so presented, a process that was launched last November in Cape Town, South Africa, and which ends on 30 April. (macauhub)