Members of Angola’s parliament authorize government to draw up oil block legislation

19 July 2013

Angola’s parliament Thursday approved a request for the government to legislate on the general conditions for bidding for oil blocks in the onshore areas of the Kwanza and Lower Congo basins.

The document, which was approved by 124 votes in favour, eight against and 29 abstentions, was put forward by Oil Minister Botelho de Vasconcelos, according to Angolan news agency Angop.

On presenting the document the Oil Minister said that ahead of bidding for new onshore oil blocks 10 onshore oil blocks in the Lower Congo basin and 23 blocks in the Kwanza basin had been split. This process had been submitted for approval to the council of ministers, which drew up a strategy for the concession of the blocks with a view to preventing social and environmental conflicts.

According to the minister bids for these blocks is intended to “maximise reserves to increase oil production, without affecting the primary and fundamental aim, which is to promote involvement of Angolan businesspeople in the oil sector, via public tenders.”

The government’s strategy, according to Botelho de Vasconcelos, also includes attracting new national and international investment to the Angolan oil sector and employment and training of Angolan workers.

“This being the case, as part of the production target set by Angola for the next few years, Sociedade Nacional de Combustíveis de Angola (Sonangol) plans to launch an auction for 15 onshore oil blocks,” the minister said. (macauhub)