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Global announcements and developments June

The industry's most comprehensive list of current and recent rounds for onshore and offshore licences

Planned rounds

Angola’s National Agency of Oil, Gas and Biofuels has announced the onshore Congo and Kwanza Basins will open for bidding this year. The data package for the blocks to be offered is available but, due to constraints from the Covid-19 pandemic, no timeline was announced.

Canada’s minister of energy & mines and its minister of natural resources jointly postponed Nova Scotia Offshore Petroleum Board’s (C-NSOPB’s) call for bids for the NS20-1 licensing round. No further details were available.

Nigeria has given approval for the 2020 Marginal Field Bid Round. The Department of Petroleum Resources is offering 52 fields previously held by the majors, along with an additional four that have been revoked. It hopes that local companies will be tempted back into acreage that has been deemed uncommercial. No more than five companies can pre-qualify for an individual field, and no company can pre-qualify for more than three.

Somalia’s minister of petroleum and mineral resources, Abdirashid Mohamed Ahmed announced the offering of seven blocks in the country’s first offshore licensing round via webcast on 12 May. The number of blocks was scaled back from original expectations, with Blocks 152, 153, 164, 165, 177, 178 and 204 all located off the central Somali coast. In his closing address the minister said: “The opportunities for the international exploration and development majors are enormous… Somalia is opening for business big time”. The round will open on 4 August 2020, with bids to be submitted by 12 March 2021.

Open rounds

Vincent de Paul Massassa, Gabon’s minister of oil, gas, hydrocarbons and mines postponed the deadline to submit applications for its 12th shallow & deepwater licensing round from 30 April to a future date yet to be announced.

Lebanon’s Ministry of Energy and Water and the Lebanese Petroleum Administration further extended the deadline to submit licensing round applications for its second offshore licensing round from 30 April to an unspecified future date.

Petronas announced it had pushed back the closing date of its 2020 Malaysia bidding round to 30 July in light of the nationwide movement control order issued by the government.

Conditionally awarded

The Republic of Croatia has awarded INA its onshore exploration Block DI-14, the only award in its third onshore bidding round (Dinarides), which closed on 10 September 2019.

New Zealand granted one onshore petroleum exploration permit for its Block Offer 2018, which closed on 28 August 2019. PEP60573, in the Taranaki Basin, covers an area of 105km² and was awarded to Todd Exploration.

Sierra Leone’s 4th offshore licensing round closed on 28 February 2020 for both open and direct tender. The UK’s Cluff Energy Africa was awarded 15 blocks (including 23-25, 36-39, 54-57, 74-75 and 94-95), while Nigeria’s Innosen Oil & Gas was awarded 9 blocks (including 96-97, 114-117 and 133-135).

The above licensing round updates all occurred before 1 June.

Petroleum Economist regularly updates an interactive licensing round map on its website—searchable alphabetically or by clicking on countries—at You can also sign up for future Licensing Rounds: Status Update newsletters.

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