OPINION: Latin American and Caribbean countries have long looked to oil and gas as offering a path for economic development and high quality plays in Brazil, Guyana and Suriname have helped maintain interest in hydrocarbons.

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A test of continued appetite is on the horizon as several countries ready bid rounds that were delayed by the impacts of Covid-19.

Brazil has just issued documents for its 17th offering of exploration and production concessions and is also moving forward with the latest batch of nominations under a "permanent" process covering onshore acreage and recycled offshore blocks.

Suriname will on 30 April receive bids for shallow-water acreage on trend with recent offshore finds.

Trinidad & Tobago is looking to kick-start a deep-water bid round ahead of a combined onshore and shallow-water round.

Colombia — one of the few countries to license any new acreage during the pandemic — is looking to get the most out of its 2021 licensing offer.

Peru is looking to offer six blocks in the northern Talara basin, while Ecuador aims to offer tracts.

These events will provide a good opportunity to gauge interest in oil and gas in a global sector impacted by the transition to cleaner energy.

The growing importance of the “environment, social and governance” criterion is likely to influence investment strategies to some extent.

Among the successes and failures, underlying changes are sure to be felt, but the real winners among these countries are likely to be those whose administrations are able to react swiftly and intelligently to the messages that emerge.

(This is an Upstream opinion article.)