Peru: Seeing Lots of Interest in Licensing Round

LIMA , May 24, 2007 (Dow Jones Newswires)

At least 37 companies have expressed interest in bidding for 19 oil and gas blocks the government is promoting in different parts of Peru, Daniel Saba, head of state licensing company Perupetro, said Thursday.

"As of yesterday, 37 companies have registered, the interest is growing every day," Saba told foreign journalists.

Companies can register to bid until June 8. The technical proposals will be presented July 9 while the economic proposals will be presented July 12, he said.

"The winners will be announced on July 12," he said.

According to Saba, Royal Dutch Shell PLC (RDSA) has expressed interest. He declined to name any other companies but said they come from the U.S., Canada, Latin America and Asia.

The interest "is very diversified," said Saba.

The government has made a concerted effort to drum up interest in Peru's flagging oil sector in recent years and has managed to attract significant investment after making contracts more flexible and attractive.

In 2006, for example, the government signed a record 16 new exploration and production contracts.

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