Details on blocks offering

Equatorial Guinea has unveiled details about its latest offshore licencing round with 14 blocks on offer, 10 under a competitive bidding process and four available for direct negotiations, writes Iain Esau.

The round, which covers all open acreage, will be launched on 1 July and closes on 30 September.

The four blocks available for direct negotiation are EG-07,EG-08, EG-09 and EG-10 and are expected to be the most sought-after assets.

EG-07, located immediately north-west of Bioko Island, hosts the langosta-1 gas condensate discovery, with part of the acreage previously operated by Repsol.

EG-08 and EG-09 are located directly north and south, respectively, of noble Energy’s producing alen and aseng fields.

EG-08 includes part of Block O that noble recently relinquished while EG-09 includes the former Block q which Petrosa,South africa’s state oil company, has also handed back to the government.

EG-10 is located immediately west of state-owned Gepetrols proposed Venus development in Block P.

Eight of the 10 blocks available for competitive bidding are found south and southwest of Bioko Island in deep and ultra-deep waters.

The Ministry of Mines, Industry and Energy will open a physical data room at Henleyon thames, west of London,which can be visited on an appointment only basis.

Companies not currently active in Equatorial Guinea must submit pre-qualification documents, plus a fee, to the ministry by 15 august and they will find out two weeks later whether they have been successful.

The round excludes seven blocks which, until earlier this month, were classed as open acreage but have now been effectively awarded to ExxonMobil.

Under a memorandum of understanding signed last week, ExxonMobil is in direct negotiations to operate blocks D-8, D-9, C-9, C-10 (part), C-11 (part), B-10 and B-11 (part) off Bioko Island under a single production sharing contract.

Upstream understands the bulk of these blocks were originally operated by ExxonMobil but had to be relinquished as the US supermajor focused its efforts on its producing Zafiro gas and condensate field in Block B.

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