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Licensing rounds update

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

Planned rounds

Australia’s Department of Industry, Science, Energy & Resources has announced the 2020 Offshore Petroleum Acreage Release will proceed as planned with some key adjustments, including an increased consultation period on nominated areas and an alternative to the public launch event later this year. No further details have been announced.

Canada’s Newfoundland and Labrador Offshore Petroleum Board (C-NLOPB) has issued a Call for Nominations (Areas of Interest) for the NL20 Eastern Newfoundland licensing round. The closing date for this is November 2021, followed by a call for bids, which will run from either March or April 2022 to November 2022.

Colombia’s Agencia Nacional de Hidrocarburos (ANH), plans to hold further rounds in its Permanent Process of Area Allocation (PPAA) introduced in 2019. Further details are not yet available.

Norway’s Ministry of Petroleum & Energy is set to include 36 new blocks in its Awards in Predefined Areas (APA) 2020. The APA area includes the geologically most mature parts of the Norwegian continental shelf—so expectations for the sizes of discoveries are lower than elsewhere.

Exploration will mainly focus on smaller discoveries that would not justify an independent development, but may be profitable if developed in conjunction with other discoveries and/or utilising existing or planned infrastructure.

“Awards in predefined areas contribute to the exploration of the well-known parts of the shelf, and they are sought-after by the companies” Bru, Norwegian energy minister

The new acreage is located western part of the Norwegian Sea. A public consultation period is now in process before the round opens. “Awards in predefined areas contribute to the exploration of the well-known parts of the shelf, and they are sought-after by the companies,” says minister for petroleum & energy Tina Bru. No further details are available.

Open rounds

The State Agency of Oil & Gas for Georgia, along with its partner IHS, launched the licensing round for Georgia’s Offshore Blocks II & III. These blocks cover a combined area of 8,750km². They are currently undrilled, although a nearby well in Turkey reported oil shows from Miocene targets. The closing date for bids is 22 June.

The fifth licensing round in India’s open acreage licensing programme has extended the closing date from 18 March to 30 June. The directorate general of hydrocarbons (DGH) has also announced that, in view of the Covid-19  lockdown, the expression of interest cycle for Round 6 (ending 31 March) and Round 7 (ending 31 July) shall be merged.

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 1 June.

The Liberia Petroleum Regulatory Authority (LPRA) launched its new offshore licensing round, with nine blocks on offer in the Harper basin, with a live webcast on 15 April. The round, which will be held completely virtually, will close for bids on 28 February 2021.

Senegal’s Ministry of Petroleum and Energy has delayed the closing date for its 2020 licensing round from 31 July to 30 September.

 The above licensing round updates all occurred before 27 April.

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

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