"There are no specific dates of when bidding will begin, but we expect it to be this year," said Silva, adding that a number of companies have already expressed interest.
The tenders for the 25-year E&P contracts were expected in the first quarter of this year.
Although original plans called for putting areas known as A1 and A9 out to tender, the government has added a third area, Silva said.
A1 takes up 102,000ha with reserves estimated at 374-765 million barrels, and A9 covers 107,000ha with reserves estimated at between 460 million and 1.07 billion barrels.
Information on the new area was not immediately available.
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