Angola Licensing May Restart in Late 2009

MADRID (Dow Jones Newswires), July 02, 2008

Angola may restart a delayed upstream oil licensing round in late 2009, Severino Cardoso, Exploration Director at state-oil company Sonangol said Wednesday.

He spoke at the sidelines of the World Petroleum Congress that started here Monday and ends Thursday.

Angola had put up 10 blocks for auction in 2007, and was supposed to have opened bids earlier this year. But the government postponed the announcement of the winners of the licensing round without explanation.

"We have elections in Angola this year, and have to wait until after that before being able to retake the licensing round," Cardoso told Dow Jones Newswires.

Cardoso during the event was talking to foreign oil company executives, inviting them to hand in further bids for the licensing round.

The acreage on offer includes three onshore blocks, one shallow water, three deep water and three ultra-deep water.

Angola, a member of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, is currently producing 1.9 million barrels a day and is expecting to produce 2 billion barrels a day this year, Oil Minister Desiderio Costa said Wednesday. 

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